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Back Injury Sidelines Justin Sellers

This catch proved to be costly for Justin Sellers, but he has no regrets.
This catch proved to be costly for Justin Sellers, but he has no regrets.

While the Dodgers activated one player off the disabled list on Friday in Jerry Hairston Jr., they lost another one to the infirmary. Justin Sellers becomes the 12th Dodgers player to be placed on the disabled list this season, as he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bulging disc in his lower back.

The injury to Sellers stems from a running catch he made in the ninth inning on May 14 in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which culminated in Sellers diving into the stands.

"The aftershock of that play, going in and getting beaten up in the stands, put more of a toll on my body than I expected," Sellers said. "A couple days after that I started feeling some light back symptoms, then it gradually got worse in Arizona, including a tingling in the right side of my leg."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had his career cut short by back problems and can relate to Sellers.

"What I'm hearing is bulging disc, touching on that nerve in there, giving him some leg pain and foot pain. I've been through that. When it gets into that area you just can't do anything," Mattingly said. "You can handle soreness and stiffness, but when you start getting into that leg and foot it's hard to compete."

Sellers said he has had a hard time in the last week or so getting comfortable either standing or sitting, and has even gotten up in the middle of the night trying to ease the discomfort. Still, Mattingly doesn't see this as a long term injury for Sellers.

"If they can get it calmed down, he'll be okay and it will be just a few weeks," Mattingly said.

Sellers was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Wednesday, as he missed the series finale in Arizona. The earliest date Sellers could return from the DL is June 7, when the Dodgers play the finale of a four-game series in Philadelphia against the Phillies.

As for the catch against the Diamondbacks that at the very least exacerbated his back problems, Sellers has no regrets.

"That's the type of player I am," Sellers said. "I'm going to sell out every day."

Other Injury Notes

  • Jerry Hairston Jr. on his minor league rehab assignment in Albuquerque while on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring: "I let it go a few times. That's why I went down there, to test it. It feels good," Hairston said. "The main thing is to try to get comfortable in the batters box and find the rhythm. But I'm ready to go. All systems are go."
  • Both Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera will play in minor league rehab games Sunday and Monday in Albuquerque, then Kemp will be activated on Tuesday. Rivera, who hasn't played since May 8, will likely play a game or two with Class A Rancho Cucamonga after that before he gets activated.

    "He's been out a little longer than Matt. He'd probably be a little more comfortable if we could get him some more at-bats and get him more baseball ready," Mattingly said of Rivera.

    Rivera, who has a ruptured hamstring tendon, has healed faster than expected. "At first we were thinking it would be a while, then it didn't go well it would have been surgery. From our standpoint this is the best case scenario," Mattingly said.
  • Matt Guerrier has been shut down from his rehab after elbow pain and the reliever, who hasn't pitched since April 19, is likely out until after the All-Star break. "I know Matt is frustrated. When this first happened, we felt like this would be a couple of weeks then we'd be ready to roll," Mattingly said.
  • Juan Uribe took ground balls in Arizona and as he continues to progress from a left wrist injury did "light" work with the bat today.
  • Mark Ellis, now that the swelling has subsided in his lower left leg, had his knee looked at as well. He has a sprained left MCL and bone contusion outside the left knee, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times. It is unclear just how long Ellis will be out, especially if his knee requires surgery, but that decision hasn't yet been made.

    "I think Doc and Mark and everyone has to get together and make decisions on where they want to go," Mattingly said. "It sounds like there have been a number of different little things. I'm still hearing 6-8 weeks."

Starting lineups

Astros Dodgers
2B Altuve CF Gwynn
SS Lowrie 2B Herrera
LF Martinez LF Abreu
1B Lee RF Ethier
RF Downs 3B Hairston
CF Maxwell 1B Loney
3B Johnson C Ellis
C Snyder SS Gordon
P Harrell P Kershaw

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday