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Dodgers injury notes: Grandal, Kendrick could start season on DL; Hernandez, Puig, Seager close to return

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX -- On this Easter Sunday we take time to catch up on the status of various injured Dodgers, who have an afternoon game against the Reds at Camelback Ranch.

Neither outfielder Yasiel Puig nor utility man Kiké Hernandez are in Sunday's lineup, but manager Dave Roberts said both are expected to play Monday night against the Rangers.

Puig has left hamstring tightness. "He's doing baseball activities, he took batting practice, he took ground balls, throwing and everything," Roberts said.

Hernandez, who was favoring his side after getting hit by a pitch last Sunday, said he wanted to play but was held out.

"With the 35 other injuries we have, they are being cautious," Hernandez joked. "Plus I'm everybody's backup."

Corey Seager has Sunday off after playing six innings at shortstop and getting four at-bata in a minor league game on Saturday. Roberts said Seager, dealing with a sprained left knee, will play another six or seven innings at shortstop in a minor league game on Monday, getting another four at-bats. He is expected to play in a game with the Dodgers by the Freeway Series, if not sooner.

"Corey should be with us in the next few days," Roberts said. "That's the plan, to go to LA and play in those games with us."

Not expected to play major league games with the Dodgers this week are catcher Yasmani Grandal, dealing with right forearm soreness, and infielder Howie Kendrick, dealing with calf tightness.

Conceivably, both could start the season on the disabled list, but back dated to March 25 such that they could miss as little as the first five games of the season.

Grandal caught a bullpen session of Carlos Frias on Sunday, but still isn't throwing back to the pitcher. Grandal will resume playing catch on Monday, then start swinging a bat soon after that.

"We can go either way," Roberts said of Grandal. "But I'm still hopeful that there are ways to maneuver at-bats for him to start opening day with us."

Roberts said Kendrick will not play in a major league game by Wednesday and is a candidate to stay behind in camp to continue to get ready for the season in extended spring training.

"It's progressed, but not enough to justify getting him back on the field," Roberts said. "Howie is feeling a little bit better today. The baseball activities are still a couple days away. The one nice thing is that he's a veteran player who knows how to prepare for a major league season and get through it."

Relief pitcher Yimi Garcia, who has been battling a sore left knee and hasn't pitched since Monday, threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is expected to pitch in Sunday's game against the Reds.

Roberts said the team hasn't yet made final decisions yet on the opening day bullpen.