Injury Roll Call: Greinke’s elbow to be examined, Crawford’s slow progress, Guerra’s … groin

ZackGreinkeDodgers

After previously reporting forearm tightness to the Dodgers, it’s been relayed that Zack Greinke is now dealing with elbow discomfort, which will force him to miss his latest Spring Training outing.

“Doctors have ruled out serious injuries such as ligament damage,” wrote Gurnick, who called the move precautionary. “Greinke has told the club he’s dealt with similar elbow issues in the past that never kept him from missing a start.”

Greinke skipped a bullpen session on Mar. 3 with elbow discomfort, something manager Don Mattingly referred to later in the week as “the little stuff with the elbow the other day.”

Missing a start is nothing, and the news about no serious damage is fantastic, but it’s a bit concerning that Greinke has dealt with two arm issues already, and the season hasn’t even begun yet.

Worse yet is news that he’s now on his way to have his arm checked out by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, who is the Dodger equivalent of Dr. James Andrews.

The team continues to downplay the severity of the situation, but we have to wonder if they aren’t revealing the extent of their concern.

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Carl Crawford is back working out after being shut down for seven days due to elbow irritation.

The Dodgers will take it slow with Crawford now, limiting him to one activity at a time. He will begin with hitting off a tee or via light toss in the batting cage on Thursday.

“He’s doing good, but he’ll be monitored, more on a rehab program,” manager Don Mattingly said. “If we don’t have trouble in one area, then we can keep moving to the next area. If something flares up, we want to know what’s causing it.”

That next area will be throwing for Crawford, which will likely take the longest of his skills to return to normal. But there is still no timetable for when Crawford will be able to play in a spring game, even as designated hitter.

Crawford still believes he’ll not only be available for Opening Day, but will be starting.

The calendar says it’s now unlikely for Carl Crawford to be ready for Opening Day, but he disagrees.

“I haven’t accepted that at all,” Crawford said on Thursday after ending a week-long shutdown by hitting off a tee. “I don’t know who is putting that stuff out there. Even with a slower approach, there’s still a chance I’ll be ready.”

Still don’t understand why there’s this grand incentive for him to rush back in his mind. Not like it’s the start of the playoffs or something.

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The Dodgers are pleased with Chad Billingsley‘s progress.

“If you didn’t know anything, does he look any different to you than he looked any other time?” manager Don Mattingly said he asked pitching coach Rick Honeycutt. “And the answer is no. It’s really good news for us, the way he’s bouncing back and the way his arm is.”

“I’m feeling good, throwing hard, throwing everything,” Billingsley said. “They monitor everything, especially with me. In my whole rehab process that I went through last year, I had velocities I had to hit. The ball feels good coming out of my hand, that’s all that matters.”

Also of note is that Bills is dealing with a sore groin muscle.

Meanwhile, Billingsley is dealing with a sore right groin muscle, an injury he’s had in previous springs.

Not a concern for now, but injuries to the lower half can put additional stress on the arm.

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Javy Guerra is dealing with a minor groin strain but has been pitching through it.

Guerra downplayed the injury, calling it “something minor” that cropped up Sunday and led to a mechanical flaw. He said a “simple adjustment” made while throwing in the bullpen after his outing brought pitches that sailed high during the game back into the strike zone.

Don’t let him pitch through it, team with a reputation for playing guys who are injured which then subsequently exacerbates the injury and ends up making it worse.

The fact that he’s changing his pitching mechanics to compensate for it says it all, really.

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Shawn Tolleson, who injured his knee recently, has been cleared to return to action.

“I just felt something move in my knee and felt a pain, so it kind of spooked me. I didn’t want to test it or throw another pitch or anything. I came out of the game and they checked it out,” Tolleson said. “Everything checked out good and clean. Today there is no swelling, no soreness, no nothing.”

Tolleson participated in workouts on Wednesday, but only did light tossing, and no pitchers fielding practice.

Tolleson wasn’t able to duplicate the pain he had felt…

Shawn Tolleson, who left Tuesday’s game after experiencing a twinge in his left knee, tested it in a shortened bullpen session and said he couldn’t duplicate the pain. He’s been cleared to pitch an inning Friday.

…so everything seems good to go.

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Scott Elbert has begun throwing following two off-season elbow surgeries.

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Chris Withrow, out with lower back pain all of Spring Training, has begun a throwing program.

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Non-roster invitee Matt Palmer suffered ligament damage in his knee and will miss 6-8 weeks after surgery.

“We hadn’t heard anything about anything, but Sue (Falsone, team trainer) said this morning said he mentioned there was some swelling. It sounded like there were signs that he didn’t look at as signs at the time,” Mattingly said. “The fact that this thing just went while walking, it was going to go anyway, in my mind.”

Palmer was an extreme long-shot to make the team anyway, but it sucks to see him go out like that.

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Greg Zakwin is the founder of the site Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle. Follow him on Twitter @ArgyledPlaschke.

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