Injury Roll Call: Greinke way ahead of schedule, A-Gon will play with pain + so many more hurt

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Zack Greinke is ahead of schedule as he works his way back from his broken left collarbone.

For the third time in six days, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke threw a bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon before the Dodgers hosted the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. The right-hander is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken collarbone.

Greinke threw just over 60 pitches on Tuesday, and like Saturday in San Francisco was clocked at 90 mph. Unlike last Thursday’s light bullpen session at Dodger Stadium, the last two have been much more strenuous, with Greinke throwing all of his pitches.

“My normal bullpen session is 20 pitches at 75 percent,” Greinke said. “This was nothing like a normal bullpen session for me.”

Now, Greinke could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, provided he has no setbacks. That could put Greinke in line to return to the Dodgers at some time around the last week of May.

He’s been throwing bullpen sessions and will start a rehab assignment soon, and the Dodgers could really use that lethal one-two punch atop the rotation as soon as possible.

How soon?

Try tomorrow, in Rancho.

If Greinke does indeed return on Wednesday of next week, he would have missed just under five weeks, well ahead of the original timetable given of eight weeks.

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Adrian Gonzalez has a strained muscle in his neck, suffered in that odd and innocuous-looking collision with a first-base umpire a few days back.

First baseman Adrian Gonzalez had an MRI on Monday that revealed a mild strain in his left trapezious muscle at the base of his neck, but he will play through the pain.

“I’m going to try to play through it and see how it feels,” Gonzalez said Monday afternoon. “It’s not getting worse, but there’s still quite a bit of pain there.”

The injury has forced him out of games early and seen him scratched entirely in others, but Gonzalez intends to play through the pain, which sounds pretty typical for an injured Dodger.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez left Wednesday night’s game against the Diamondbacks in the fifth inning, one inning after making a diving attempt to catch a foul ball. Gonzalez has been battling a strained muscle in his neck, and the Dodgers say he aggravated the neck strain on Wednesday.

Gonzalez is listed as day-to-day.

Honestly, just rest the guy and DL him – which they should have done originally – as there is baseball beyond 2013. Letting guys play through injury just leads to a more serious injury or compensating for the injured area and then injuring a different area.

Speaking of the consequences of playing through pain…

…A-Gon’s shoulder injury from a couple of years ago has permanently altered his ability to hit for power.

His days as that kind of power hitter are gone.

That is not a whisper from an anonymous scout. That is the word from Gonzalez himself, who says he has been unable to recover the swing that made him an elite power hitter.

“I can still hit home runs,” Gonzalez said. “That is not going to be an issue. The full power is not the same.”

“Last year, I tried to go back to the swing I had before I got hurt,” he said. “I tried it for the whole first half, with horrible results.”

We all remember them letting Matt Kemp persist, right? Now he might not ever be the same?

Great.

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Carl Crawford‘s hamstring was feeling tight, and he was held out of the lineup Wednesday as a precaution.

Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford was held out of the starting lineup for the series finale against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night with tightness in his right hamstring. Utility man Elian Herrera gets the start in left field in Crawford’s place.

“Carl felt a little bit tender, it feels like something is going on. We’re just being cautious, with the off day tomorrow,” said manager Don Mattingly. “I had planned on playing him today, but when he comes in and feels like he’s a little bit tight, it’s better than playing him and he ends up pulling it and you miss him for a long time.”

A hamstring injury for a guy whose game is predicated on his legs is never a good thing.

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Hanley Ramirez will be on the shelf for roughly four to six weeks with his hamstring injury.

MRI results for Hanley Ramirez confirmed a strain of his left hamstring strain, and the Dodgers are placing the official timetable for his return at four to six weeks. That puts Ramirez back with the Dodgers some time in the first two weeks of June if all goes according to plan.

Just think if he and Greinke and Gonzalez and Kemp are all on the field together at the same time, healthy. This squad could possibly win a game or two.

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Mark Ellis hit the 15-day DL with his quad injury and is eligible to return on May 12, as the move was a retroactive one.

It took the Dodgers about a week longer than it should have, but as expected Mark Ellis was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a strained right quad.

Chris Capuano was activated from the disabled list and took his spot on the 25-man roster.

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Jerry Hairston Jr. hit the DL with a strain of his left groin. Elian Herrera was recalled to take his place.

The Dodgers made it official on Tuesday, placing Jerry Hairston on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin.

Based on various beat reports from Monday, Hairston tried to test his groin during pregame workouts but was unable to complete them. Hairston aggravated the injury on Saturday night in San Francisco, but appeared as a pinch hitter on Sunday.

Hairston was pretty much the only guy with any amount of power on the bench.

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Scott Elbert is set to begin a rehab assignment and could be available in the next week to week and a half.

Reliever Scott Elbert, healed from two left elbow operations, will begin a Minor League rehab assignment Friday for Class A Rancho Cucamonga and could be back in the Dodgers’ bullpen within seven to 10 days.

Elbert threw a simulated game Saturday in extended spring training in Arizona, employing a revamped delivery designed to ease stress on his elbow after undergoing two offseason operations and a platelet-rich plasma injection during Spring Training.

Well, this is a bright spot at least.

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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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