Zack Greinke injury: Dodgers RHP declines to speculate on elbow

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers pitcher returned to camp on Tuesday and deferred questions as to whether he will be ready to pitch his first scheduled regular season start. Manager Don Mattingly thinks Greinke has time to get ready, but won't force anything.

Zack Greinke was back in Dodgers camp on Tuesday, one day after visiting with team physician De. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and getting diagnosed with inflammation in his right elbow. But Greinke on Tuesday didn't reveal a wealth of information regarding his injury, which has caused him to miss one start and one bullpen session. Greinke also skipped another start with illness.

"I didn't really know exactly what the problem is, and I still don't. They might, but I don't. I'm not a doctor, I'm just kind of going what they are saying to me," Greinke said. "I don't have any definitive stuff to tell you guys. I don't know if it's the same problem as I've had in the past, and I don't know if it's a little different."

Greinke on Monday was given anti-inflammatory medication as well as an injection of platelet-rich plasma into his elbow. Greinke said he talked to Chad Billingsley about Billingsley's pair of PRP injections earlier in the offseason, but didn't have a chance to talk with him prior to getting the injection himself on Monday.

"I don't really know what it was supposed to do. I don't have enough information to talk about this stuff," Greinke said. "I didn't know anything about it until yesterday, so I didn't have time to talk to (Billingsley) about it."

Manager Don Mattingly said on Monday that he thought Greinke would still be able to make his Apr. 2 start against the Giants, but Greinke wasn't ready to commit just yet.

"I don't know that either. Anything you all are writing is premature. Nothing is 100% sure," Greinke said. "They know more about it than I do. What they're saying is probably accurate. Anything I tell you, I don't know anything about it. I'm just going by what they're telling me. They have a better plan on it than I do."

While Greinke was noncommittal on Tuesday, perhaps it's because there isn't much more information than received on Monday. He will next begin throwing on Friday, and will have three spring starts left to get ready for the season. With the information reporters already had, perhaps Greinke just wasn't in the mood to give out any more information.

"He knows you have that (information), and he doesn't really want to [B.S.] with you," Mattingly said.

Once Greinke pitches next, he will likely be limited to roughly four innings or 60 pitches. Mattingly reiterated Tuesday that he thought Greinke would be able to make his first scheduled regular season start.

"I don't think he's that far behind. But if Rick (Honeycutt, pitching coach) says he's better off throwing the next day or whenever, we'll see," Mattingly said. "At this point I've heard nothing to the contrary."

Mattingly did say that much like Monday's doctor visit in Los Angeles, the Dodgers will proceed with caution with their $147 million pitcher.

"We won't put him out there unless he's ready. We're not going to force the square peg in the round hole just because I've said I feel like he'll be ready," Mattingly said. "If he's not (ready), then we won't. We're not going to force anything."

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