Injury Roll Call: Hanley still weeks away, Kemp cleared for increased lifting, Elbert close

HanleyRamirezDodgers

Hanley Ramirez continues to work his way back from his hamstring injury and has begun to increase his running.

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez took another step in his recovery from a strained left hamstring on Friday, but the club is playing it safe, not trying to rush his return to action. Ramirez took batting practice before the Dodgers played the Cardinals on Friday night, something he also did on the previous road trip. But what Ramirez added was running in curves, something he hasn’t done since injuring his hamstring on May 3.

Ramirez said on Friday that he has been running only in straight lines at about 80-85% effort, and that he was anxious to return.

“I’ve been trying to come back,” Ramirez said with a wide grin. “They won’t let me.”

“Hanley is doing better. He’s still not there yet. We’re a ways away. He’s doing a lot of baseball stuff. I don’t think he’s quite as close as it seems,” Mattingly said. “It’s a little bit like Mark Ellis, where you feel like it might be ready to go, but it will be seven days before that thing is 100%.”

HamRam has also been seeking advice from Matt Kemp on the recovery from such an injury.

Ramirez agreed, and sought the advice of Matt Kemp, who missed 51 out of 53 games in 2012 with a pair of left hamstring strains, including missing six weeks after coming back early from the first injury.

“It’s why we’ve got to be careful. It’s only been three weeks. You have to be 100%. It can go at any time,” Ramirez said. “I don’t want to come back early and be back on the DL for two months.”

Probably looking at mid-June, at least.

His return can’t come soon enough, though. Seriously.

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The Dodgers have cleared Kemp to up his workout regimen in the weight room, which sort of answers the questions about why his strength is down and why he came into camp lighter.

At the core of his problems are his mechanics, and they are the larger issue here.

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A.J. Ellis had a rough week filled with bumps and bruises, but fortunately he seems okay. A regular rest would be good for him, but it’s hard when the other option is Ramon Hernandez.

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Scott Van Slyke injured his neck Saturday trying to make a diving catch, but it doesn’t appear to be serious. However, it has affected the return date of Jerry Hairston Jr.

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The aforementioned Hairston went on a rehab assignment to work his way back from a groin ailment.

Jerry Hairston will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday night for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, and will play at least two games with the Quakes. The utility man was placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 7 with a left groin strain, then during rehab also hurt his left knee.

“Jerry is playing six tonight, six tomorrow,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Then we’ll see where he’s at after that.”

He recently completed that rehab assignment and is in Los Angeles, but like I said, the team is waiting on activating him.

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Scott Elbert continues to rehab and is close to returning.

Dodgers pitcher Scott Elbert has been on a minor league rehabilitation assignment for two weeks while recovering from a pair of offseason shoulder surgeries, but the left-handed pitcher is closer to rejoining the Dodgers. Elbert will pitch on Saturday and Sunday for Double-A Chattanooga, his first back-to-back outings of the rehab assignment.

“We’re just talking about probably one hitter (each game), just enough to get him up and get loose, get him into a game, and see if he can bounce back from that,” said manager Don Mattingly.

Getting another reliever back would indeed be a relief.

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Minor-league injury news is fortunately rather brief this week.

Placed on 7-day DL: C Eric Smith
Reinstated from DL: 1B Paul Hoenecke, 2B Malcolm Holland

Nobody of particular note, as far as relevant prospects go.

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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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