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Kenley Jansen cleared to pitch for Dodgers after high BP scare in Colorado

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Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers closer has been cleared by doctors and is available to pitch for the Dodgers on Thursday night as they open a series against the Cardinals at home. Jansen and manager Don Mattingly also cleared up the confusion from postgame on Wednesday in Colorado, when information was scarce.

"Early in the game yesterday, Kenley was feeling something in his stomach and had a headache, so we checked him out, and his blood pressure was up," Mattingly said. "We were being cautious with Kenley because of his history at that point."

Jansen's history includes cardiac arrhythmia and surgery in October 2012 to correct the problem, which was essentially an irregular heartbeat.

"In the beginning, you feel the memory of all that stuff that happened to you and think, 'Here we go again'," Jansen said. "I wanted to go out, but it wasn't smart.

"The season is still early. For me to go out there, and the next thing you know you might have an episode going on. You want to make sure you don't have [atrial fibrillation] again."

Jansen said he wasn't experiencing any symptoms or feeling sick in his save on Tuesday night, the only game he has pitched in the last eight days. He began feeling something before the game, and Mattingly said he knew by the fifth inning that Jansen would be unavailable to close on Wednesday night.

Jansen was examined in Los Angeles on Thursday, and cleared to pitch.

Without Jansen, four Dodgers relief pitchers combined to record one out in the inning, turning a two-run lead into a 7-6 Rockies win. After the game, Jansen told a Dodgers public relations member that he didn't want to talk about it, feeling it would be selfish, especially right after a loss.

"It was a tough night. You feel guilty, and even though you can't do anything about it you see how it goes down and you feel like you let your team down," Jansen said. "Seeing the team lose, I wasn't going to talk about my own medical history."

That led to a situation where Mattingly didn't offer much beyond Jansen being unavailable, though he did offer that Jansen's status did change during the game, which only brought more questions and speculation.

"I'm always going to respect the players' wishes," Mattingly said Thursday. "I get taken aback a little bit, because sometimes you all [reporters] think you need every little bit of information, that could be related to family, could be related to different things. There are situations where, if you can't give up that information you can't do it."

This tweet by Rick Sutcliffe, who was part of the ESPN2 broadcast team in Colorado on Tuesday, didn't help.

Sutcliffe on Wednesday backtracked a bit.

Asked if he saw any of the news or reaction to his situation on Twitter, Jansen just smiled.

"I don't do social media," Jansen said. "I don't pay attention to that stuff."