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Zack Greinke pushed back 2 days with elbow discomfort

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Greinke will start on Saturday against the Mets.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- As expected, Zack Greinke won't make his scheduled start against the Padres on Thursday, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said on Wednesday. But the news could have been much worse.

Greinke has elbow discomfort but will start Saturday against the Mets. An MRI exam of Greinke's right elbow two weeks ago showed no structural damage, and the right-hander is expected to avoid any time on the disabled list.

"He's had some elbow discomfort. It's basically what he had during spring training last year. He's not that concerned. He kind of notices everything, like all these guys do," Mattingly said. "I think he didn't really want to miss a start, but we felt like we're better off giving him a couple extra days for the long term."

With Greinke pushed back two days, Clayton Kershaw will pitch the series finale against the Padres on Thursday with Dan Haren starting Friday against the Mets. Both Kershaw and Haren will be on regular rest thanks to Monday's off day, but Mattingly mentioned that Kershaw's next three starts, because of off days, will be on extra rest.

Greinke was reticent to go into much medical detail, but was also confident he would avoid a stint on the disabled list.

"There's nothing wrong with the ligament, it's just something that just comes and goes," Greinke said. "I don't have a percentage or level of concern I can describe. I don't expect to be pitching at 100 percent. It's possible, but I wouldn't guarantee it, that's for sure."

The Dodgers have four off days in the next 23 days, including Wednesday night, and rosters expand on Sept. 1, giving the Dodgers flexibility to move Greinke around as needed.

"The way the off days are set up we can give him more time. We'll try to give him extra rest when we can," Mattingly said.

Greinke, 0-2 with a 3.50 ERA in his last three starts, said he would be able to pitch through this problem.

"I can still pitch at 100 percent effectiveness. Just like when you go on a run, your right foot might be a little sore but you could still run as good as you could if your foot wasn't sore," Greinke said. "I expect to pitch at a 100-percent level, but I don't expect to feel 100 percent while I'm throwing."

Padres roster move

San Diego activated outfielder Cameron Maybin off the restricted list after he served his 25-game suspension for amphetamine. The team optioned infielder Jace Peterson back to Triple-A El Paso and designated pitcher Bobby LaFromboise for assignment.