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Zack Greinke injury: Dodgers RHP leaves game with mild right calf strain

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE -- Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke left his Cactus League debut after just four pitches on Thursday with a mild right calf strain. The Dodgers say Greinke was removed for precautionary reasons.

Greinke retired Tony Campana to open the game, then threw two pitches to Cliff Pennington before trainer Stan Conte and manager Don Mattingly made a mound visit. After a prolonged conversation and two warmup pitches, Greinke walked off the mound and left with Conte to the clubhouse.

Greinke said he felt something when pushing off the rubber on his two pitches to Pennington, and categorized the calf strain as minor.

"I'd still be pitching if this were a regular season game," Greinke said. "We deal with small stuff all the time, and I think that's what this is. We'll see, but that's my guess."

Greinke said he will know more about the injury after he ices his calf during the afternoon and night.

The plan was for Greinke to throw two innings during the game against the Diamondbacks followed by a simulated inning in the bullpen, as Clayton Kershaw did on Wednesday.

Chris Withrow entered the game in relief of Greinke.

Greinke has made no bones about not being enthused about the Australia trip, and the Dodgers have yet to formally announce their two starters for the opening two games of their regular season.

With a shortened spring training of only 19 days of Cactus League games and four starts for each of the starting pitchers, the Dodgers have been planning to have four starters (Greinke, Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu and Dan Haren) ready to pitch in Australia just in case.

"Any setback, we have to be ready. We're basically preparing and not willing to talk about it from there," Mattingly said earlier in the week.

"It definitely doesn't take me out of the mix [for Australia], but we'll see how it feels tomorrow," Greinke said.

Greinke expanded a bit on his stance on the Australia trip.

"If we're going to be there, I want to pitch," Greinke said. "My vote if we had to go over there, was not going. But more people wanted to go than not, so now that we are going, I want to be there. I don't want to not go and have the rest of the team play with me sitting here watching. I also don't want to go there and not pitch.

Greinke was asked if he felt any pressure in being ready to pitch in Australia after his previous comments.

"I've never been really big on people's perception of me. The only goal is to try and win as many games as possible," Greinke said. "Not taking too many games for granted, not taking one game for granted, not taking the first month for granted, not taking the whole season for granted."