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Brian Wilson downplays elbow injury

The setup man says he will soon be ready to pitch in minor league games on a rehab assignment. The Dodgers recalled reliever Jose Dominguez to take Wilson's place on the roster.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers on Wednesday officially placed Brian Wilson on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow ulnar nerve inflammation, and recalled right-hander Jose Dominguez from Triple-A Albuquerque before their series finale against the Padres at Petco Park.

Wilson downplayed the severity of the injury, first reported on Tuesday.

"It's just slight discomfort. I think everything will be fine once I get four, five, six innings under my belt, just to kind of finish spring training," Wilson said. "I only threw four times because I had to get shut down for the same thing."

It was Wilson's fourth and final spring outing, on March 15 against the White Sox, that he felt discomfort in his elbow, on which he has had two Tommy John surgeries.

"I went out and threw against the White Sox. I was throwing hard and I didn't bounce back like I'd like to. I was trying to get ready for the season," Wilson recalled. "My arm's not going to lie, I shouldn't have gotten ready too fast."

Wilson was trying to get ready for the regular season opener in Australia, and didn't immediately report his injury.

"I probably should have said something before I went out there, but you're not going to take yourself out of a game," Wilson said. "I don't care what baseball player is out there, he's not going to say, 'Hey guys I need a day.' No one says that."

Manager Don Mattingly, though empathizing with Wilson, has seen this thinking before.

"We say it the first day of spring training, not let a small thing turn into a bigger thing. I've heard it in so many spring trainings but guys still don't tell," Mattingly said. "Your body is always talking to you in some way. The guys are always feeling something in different areas. You can't really go to the trainer all the time or you'd be in there every day."

Wilson pitched in the first game in Australia and struck out two in a scoreless inning but said he didn't feel right, that while mentally prepared for the early start of the season he wasn't physically ready. That culminated in Sunday's loss to the Padres, when he allowed three runs in the eighth inning without recording an out.

"I wouldn't want to go out there and flip a coin on trying to get outs while trying to get my work in. It's not fair to the team, it's not fair to myself. I need to get work in now at a competitive level without causing any harm to the team."

Before Wednesday's game, Wilson played light catch off flat ground with team director of medical services Stan Conte. Wilson will throw a bullpen session on Thursday or Friday, and eventually will start a minor league rehab assignment.

While confident in his eventual return — "My ligament is kind of a beast," he boasted — Wilson said there is no timetable for his return. Mattingly concurred.

"It's a throwing progression," Mattingly said. "It's got to calm down a little bit."