Injury Roll Call: A-Gon’s odd neck injury, Hanley out a while, Greinke ahead of schedule

ZackGreinkeBullpen

Zack Greinke appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken collarbone.

The original diagnosis after the surgery was for Greinke to return to pitching for the Dodgers in eight weeks after the Apr. 13 procedure, which would put him in line for a return around June 8. But given that Greinke is already throwing bullpen sessions, his return could come sooner than that.

Ken Gurnick has the details:

Greinke threw all of his pitches and said he had no discomfort. Original recovery estimate was eight weeks, but he’s ahead of that.

While I’m thrilled with this news, and it is a positive to counter all the bad, I would encourage them to take as much time as he needs to get back.

Besides being worried about him rushing it to help a struggling team, I would hope he’s given the time to adequately build his arm strength. Also, that he feels truly normal so that he’s not altering his mechanics. This is due to both injury and performance concerns.

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Adrian Gonzalez has been down and out for the past few days with a neck injury, and while there hasn’t been any indication that it’s serious enough to require a DL stint, it certainly doesn’t sound good.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez tried to play on Saturday night after sitting out Friday with a pain in his neck, but for the second consecutive night he was scratched from the starting lineup on Saturday against the Giants. Jerry Hairston will play first base in place of Gonzalez, and bat second.

Things figured to be bad for Gonzalez, who after Friday’s game told reporters, “I can’t turn my neck right now,” per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Even on Saturday, though he was originally penciled into the lineup, Gonzalez spent the bulk of pregame getting treatment on his neck, and per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com was walking around the clubhouse wearing a soft neck brace. I’m no doctor, but that is almost never a good sign for anyone, let alone a professional athlete.

The weird part? On the play he was hurt, there’s barely any direct contact with his head/neck and the umpire at all.

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Via Mike Petriello

I’m not sure his head/neck area even make direct contact. Not questioning his injury in any way, just mentioning it to point out how unlucky this team has been so far in 2013.

This injury sort of sums it up.

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Hanley Ramirez was placed on the 15-day DL with his hamstring injury, which seems as serious as it looked.

Ramirez led off the sixth inning with a walk against Barry Zito, then tried to advance to third base on a single to right field by A.J. Ellis. But between second and third base, Ramirez pulled up and slowed down, and appeared to favor his left leg.

Ramirez was helped off the field by team trainers, and replaced in the bottom of the inning by Justin Sellers at shortstop.

Early reports have the injury being compared to Matt Kemp‘s injury from 2012, and we know how that derailed his year.

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Chris Capuano is on pace to join the rotation this coming week.

Chris Capuano pitched into the sixth inning Wednesday night in his minor league rehab start with Triple-A Albuquerque, and remains in line to join the Dodgers when they open a series next week at Dodger Stadium against the Diamondbacks.

Capuano allowed two runs on seven hits in his 5⅓ innings, and struck out four with just one walk against Memphis. He had a bit of a scare in the third inning when he knocked down a comebacker with his bare hand, per Isotopes beat writer Chris Jackson, but Capuano was no worse for wear and remained in the game.

Capuano was removed after 76 pitches, presumably after hitting a prescribed pitch count limit. For what it’s worth, Isotopes play-by-play announcer Josh Suchon described Capuano’s outing as “solid” and said the left-hander “looks ready.”

Capuano and Greinke figure to come back soon, one after the other, so the rotation hopefully won’t be in shambles like it is now.

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Mark Ellis continues to make improvements, but how much longer can they wait?

Ellis said Wednesday that he was feeling better and was able to field, throw, hit and move laterally with no issue. But he was still unable to run at full speed.

The Dodgers need to open a roster spot for Clayton Kershaw to return from the bereavement list and make his scheduled start Friday at San Francisco.

Does Ellis believe he will be healthy enough to play Friday?

“We’ll see; I won’t know until Friday,” Ellis said before Wednesday’s game against the Rockies. “If it progresses every day like it has, I’d be optimistic. But it’s early in the season still, so we’ll see.”

If Ellis is unavailable again Friday, the Dodgers would most likely place the veteran on the disabled list.

Great that he’s not in the “gonna miss a month” territory with this, but they need to make a decision. The bench is terrible as it is, and they can’t just keep them a man down.

Given his age and injury history, I honestly don’t see why they don’t just play it safe.

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Fortunately it seems like he’s about ready, as he pinch-hit yesterday.

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Jerry Hairston Jr. seems to think he’s okay after pulling up a bit lame while scoring last night.

Jerry Hairston, starting at first base Saturday night in place of the injured Adrian Gonzalez, was removed in the fifth inning in a double-switch, although he confirmed he “felt a little bit of a tweak in the groin” to explain why he was limping while scoring on Matt Kemp’s two-run single.

“I felt fine and could have stayed in the game. It was very minor,” Hairston said. “It was just a natural double-switch but I could have played. It’s really a non-issue. I hit the bag funny rounding third and I just wanted to make sure I didn’t overextend.”

Mattingly said he was told that Hairston was OK, “but I’m not sure what that means. We’ll see tomorrow.”

Again, this doesn’t seem major, but if this many guys are unavailable or borderline unavailable, it eats into an already weak and decimated bench.

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As you guys know, Ted Lilly was put on the DL with a rib cage strain.

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Down in the minors, it’s been a busy week:

Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Gustavo Gomez, RHP JonMichael Redding, LHP Onelki Garcia, C Jan Vazquez, 1B Chris Jacobs, 2B Rafael Ynoa

Reinstated from DL: RHP Matt Palmer, SS Ozzie Martinez, OF Yasiel Puig

Would like to know what Onelki Garcia‘s ailment is, since he’s the top prospect in the group. Rafael Ynoa is a potential contributor as well.

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