Injury Roll Call: Hanley wants back in, Kemp on the cusp, Ethier hobbled, Capuano setback

HanleyRamirezISeeYou

Hanley Ramirez left Thursday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring. It’s the same injury that felled HanRam earlier this year.

Ramirez left the game after six innings for what the Dodgers called precautionary reasons with mild tightness in his left hamstring, the same injury that sidelined the shortstop for 28 games on the disabled list in May and June.

Mattingly said Ramirez has been bothered by hamstring tightness for a few games.

“We got to the point where I just couldn’t take that chance. It seems the last couple of days he’s been saying the same thing and saying the same thing: ‘I feel great’ and ‘I feel fine.’ Then as the game goes it keeps kind of popping back. At that point he was kind of begging me to keep playing there, but I just couldn’t do it,” Mattingly said. “He didn’t do anything to [the hamstring], I just couldn’t take any chances.”

Then it was revealed that Hanley was set to be out until at least next week with what the club has revealed to be an irritated nerve in his back.

Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez left Thursday night’s game with hamstring tightness, but apparently the root of the problem is in his back. Ramirez underwent an MRI exam on Friday, and the results showed nerve irritation in his back, the team announced on Friday.

Ramirez received a cortisone shot and is expected to play next week, which is an admittedly rather vague time frame. The Dodgers open a 10-game road trip on Monday night in Arizona.

The MRI on Friday showed no difference compared with an MRI taken of the same area in 2011. A left back strain two years ago with the Marlins caused him to miss 15 games in the first disabled list stint of his career.

Tony Jackson clarifies how the hamstring report and nerve issue in Ramirez’s back are linked.

OK, here’s the deal: when he was examined after coming out of the game last night, one of the ways they tested the hamstring was by touching it, and that didn’t hurt. The fact that didn’t hurt led the medical staff to conclude that this probably was NERVE-related as opposed to MUSCLE-related. Nerve issues start in the spine, of course, and Hanley, as I stated in the previous post, does have a history of sciatica. So that’s why it was determined — before he was sent for an MRI today — that Hanley’s issue isn’t actually in his hamstring but in his back.

To combat his injury, Hanley had two cortisone injections in his back, which appears to have helped the hamstring issues.

Ramirez is out through the weekend at least after having two cortisone injections in his lower back Friday. For now, the discomfort in his hamstring has subsided.

“I’m good,” Ramirez said. “I’m just sore where they put that needle. Everything else feels good. I’m just waiting for the soreness to go away and we’ll see after that. I thought it was going to be worse. … The only reason we did [the injection] was because I know I want to be on the field by playoff time.”

While Ramirez missed two weeks in 2011 with a similar issue, he said that injury was “way worse.” If the discomfort in his hamstring returns again this season, Ramirez said he would try to play through it and avoid another injection.

“We’ll see how long it lasts and see how I feel,” he said. “I don’t think I’m going to need another one because I don’t want to miss a couple days. We don’t need that. I’m just going to keep going. Like I told them, if it would have been the playoffs I would have been on the field.”

So at least until Monday, but we’re probably looking at Tuesday or Wednesday if they play it safe (and they should).

This is where the luxury of a big lead and an assured playoff berth come in, as the Dodgers can rest Hanley for any amount of time they want. However, it’s a delicate balance between throwing off the timing of one of their best hitters and making sure that he can actually play during October.

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Matt Kemp is continuing to work towards a regular season return.

Matt Kemp continued his rehab in Arizona on Tuesday, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sounded optimistic about his center fielder, telling reporters before the game with the Diamondbacks that he thinks Kemp will play again this season.

“I think everybody is pretty positive that he is on a pretty good track, as far as what he’s been able to do,” Mattingly said. “He’s been tested without being able to run.”

Kemp has been sidelined since July 21 with a sprained left ankle, but his rehab was shut down last week with tightness in his right hamstring, an aggravation of an injury that caused Kemp to miss 24 games in May and June. Mattingly said he was 6-for-10 with four home runs playing in simulated game situations at the Dodgers’ facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. on Tuesday.

“Right now it’s pretty positive,” Mattingly said. “I could use him to pinch hit, but then I’d have to
pinch run for him. It would be nice if he could run.”

Now Kemp has progressed to running the bases, and it appears he’s on the cusp of joining the team.

Matt Kemp progressed to running the bases Saturday, one of the final steps for the Dodgers outfielder as he works his way back from a sprained left ankle and tight right hamstring.

“Matt had a good day today,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before Saturday’s game against the Giants. “He ran the bases. He had 13 at-bats, or something like that. He’s feeling good. We’ve been down this road a number of times. As we get to the bases, we’re starting to get close to playing.”

Just hope he’s not rushing back because Carl Crawford (back) and Yasiel Puig (penis) are nursing minor injuries (in addition to Andre Ethier).

Regardless, I’d put Kemp on the postseason roster if he’s healthy, even without some late-season action. Just too much upside to pass up.

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Andre Ethier left Friday’s game after re-aggravating an ankle injury.

A couple of balls that didn’t fall in the Dodgers’ favor in the seventh inning proved to be their undoing on Friday night, but the story of the 4-2 loss to the Giants was yet another injury. Andre Ethier doubled with two outs in the eighth inning but pulled up on his way to second base.

After conferring with trainer Nancy Patterson and manager Don Mattingly, Ethier was removed from the game in favor of pinch runner Dee Gordon.

Bill Plunkett reports that Dre had an MRI on Wednesday, prior to the re-aggravation, and tests revealed the injury — on the outside of the left ankle — is similar to shin splints.

As such, Ethier is going to get a couple days off, at least.

“It will be at least a couple days before we use him,” Mattingly said. “We’ll see where he goes. He’s pretty sore today. We’re going to be cautious with him.”

I would love to believe he just needs a blow, but we’ve been down this road before, right? Zero reason to take the staff at their word.

Just hope for the best.

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Chris Capuano had begun throwing as he was recovering from a strained left groin.

Capuano, recovering from a strained left groin that forced him from his Friday start in Cincinnati, threw off a mound Wednesday afternoon, with Tim Federowicz catching from just in front of the plate. Capuano will throw a bullpen session this week and could then return to the rotation or assume a relief role.

“I think he’s feeling pretty good about where it’s going,” Mattingly said.

Unfortunately, that didn’t last long, as Capuano had discomfort in his groin while throwing a pen.

Chris Capuano experienced discomfort in his left groin during a bullpen session Friday, and the Dodgers don’t have plans for the left-hander to throw off a mound again at this point, according to manager Don Mattingly.

“He was a little sore,” Mattingly said before Saturday’s game against the Giants. “He felt it a little bit towards the end as he tried to do a little extra. We’re going to slow him down a little bit.”

Capuano was a candidate to be yet another lefty reliever on the postseason roster, especially against the Reds, but now it’s in serious doubt.

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Chad Billingsley, recuperating from Tommy John surgery he should have had last year, has begun a throwing program.

Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley is on the comeback trail following season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow and has started a throwing program.

Had Chad gotten the surgery immediately, he could perhaps be returning right now to give the Dodgers’ pen a boost. Instead, he’ll be ready for 2014.

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Shawn Tolleson was moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Onelki Garcia on the 40-man roster.

To make room for Garcia on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred reliever Shawn Tolleson to the 60-day disabled list. Tolleson underwent back surgery on April 25 to repair a herniated disc, and had his recovery slowed two weeks ago with a hip problem.

Onelki will get a shot to be a lefty specialist in October, but thus far it’s not going well.

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Jose Dominguez was transferred to the 60-day DL as well in order to make room for Nick Buss on the 40-man roster.

Castellanos was already on the 40-man but Buss had to be added. To make room, relief pitcher Jose Dominguez was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Dominguez, sidelined with a left quad strain, last pitched for the Dodgers on July 22 and was slow to recover in his rehab.

An unfortunate end to a promising beginning, as he went from potential postseason roster guy to ending his year on the DL on what was sort of a freak injury.

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