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Mark Ellis To Begin Rehab Assignment Saturday

Mark Ellis could be playing again for the Dodgers as soon as next Thursday.
Mark Ellis could be playing again for the Dodgers as soon as next Thursday.

Second baseman Mark Ellis is getting closer and closer to returning to active duty for the Dodgers. Ellis, who had fasioctomy surgery on May 19 to relieve pressure in his left leg one day after a collision at second base, played a simulated game on Friday, and will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday.

Ellis will play four games for Class A Rancho Cucamonga. He will serve as the designated hitter on Saturday, then play second base the next three days. The plan, if everything goes well, is for Ellis to be activated for the Dodgers' series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix, which begins next Thursday.

A Thursday or Friday return for Ellis would be seven weeks after suffering the injury, which is ahead schedule considering that things could have been much worse regarding his left leg.

"As he was going through this thing with the leg, there was a possibility he would need knee surgery," manager Don Mattingly said. "It has been a nice little surprise for us."

Ellis was hitting .273/.373/.364 at the time of the injury, with 27 runs scored in 37 games.


  • Ellis will be joined in Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday by Javy Guerra, who threw a simulated game on Friday after throwing a bullpen session on Thursday. Guerra last pitched for the Dodgers on June 3 and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on June 5.
  • Andre Ethier is out again for the Dodgers on Friday, but has hopes of returning to the lineup by Sunday or Monday. Mattingly said Ethier wouldn't play until he was fully cleared by the training staff, and though Ethier is day-to-day there could be a point in the next couple of days that the Dodgers decide to place him on the disabled list.

    "That's where it gets to be tricky for us. You start getting seven or eight days into this thing, you start thinking if four days worth the risk of blowing this thing and then having to miss 15 plus or a month," Mattingly said. "There will be a day, as we start going day-to-day and it gets longer, then we'll have to do something different."

    Mattingly didn't reveal when that decision day is regarding Ethier, but logic dictates it would likely be at some point during the series with the Cincinnati Reds, which runs Monday to Wednesday.
  • Matt Kemp still needs to clear another series of tests with the training staff before heading out on a rehab assignment. Mattingly did not specify dates, but said the plan was for Kemp to have rehab games under his belt before taking part in the Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 9.
  • Ted Lilly continues to throw off flat ground every other day, still in the process of building up arm strength.
  • Matt Guerrier said he has been pain free in his elbow for the last 10 or 11 days, and that the club wants him to be pain free for two weeks straight before he begins a throwing program. Guerrier is still targeting a return sometime shortly after the All-Star break.

Meaningless Note Of the Day

Guerrier is a big fan of the movie Back to the Future, and for most of the season has had the Doc Brown quote, "Where we're going we don't need roads" written on the whiteboard above his locker. But during this homestand Guerrier decided to change it up a little bit, and his whiteboard now says, "We need roads where we're going."

Starting Lineups

Against right-handed knuckleballers many switch hitters have decided to bat right-handed, but Elian Herrera said he planned to bat from the left side against R.A. Dickey of the Mets.

CF Torres (S) SS Gordon (L)
SS Tejada 3B Herrera (S)
3B Wright 2B Hairston
1B Davis (L)
LF Abreu (L)
RF Duda (L) C Ellis
2B Murphy (L) 1B Loney (L)
LF Niewenhuis (L) RF Van Slyke
C Thole (L)
CF Gwynn (L)
P Dickey P Harang

Game Time: 7:10 p.m.

TV: Prime Ticket

MLB Gameday