Ethier's playoff status unclear because of ankle
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier returned to Southern California on Wednesday to have his troublesome left ankle re-examined, and the team isn't sure whether he will be available for the NL division series starting next week.
The Dodgers announced during Wednesday's game with the Giants that Ethier was examined by team orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache and orthopedic foot and ankle specialist Dr. Phillip Kwong. Repeat MRI and CT scans were performed, showing the injured area had improved but not fully healed.
"Ethier will be cleared to return to competition when he is able to run the bases without pain,'' the Dodgers said. "Until then, he will continue to hit and throw as before.''
Manager Don Mattingly said before the game he has to prepare for the fact Ethier might not be healthy in time for the playoffs.
"I think you're always making plans with different scenarios,'' he said.
"I'm a little worried about him, just because it didn't look very good yesterday and he wasn't running really very hard when it happened,'' Mattingly said. "Again, I'd like to be really optimistic. Hopefully it's something that a couple of days maybe. It seemed like we had the same type of thing with Matt (Kemp), where it was a little anxious about turning and the next thing you know two days later he was rolling. That'd be great. But we'll just see.''
Forced to leave a Sept. 13 game against the Giants, Ethier successfully shagged fly balls Tuesday in San Francisco but tried to test the ankle running bases and quickly encountered problems and ended the session. Ethier was expected back in the Bay Area late Wednesday.
"He went to run bases yesterday and it didn't go very good,'' Mattingly said. "Just make sure we're not missing anything. I think they said they would rule out there's not something major going on.''
While Mattingly said he and general manager Ned Colletti have yet to sit down and hash out the first-round roster in depth, he expects to go with 25 healthy players.
Ethier missed his 10th game with the injury Wednesday. He is batting .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs for the NL West champions. Ethier has had a strong second half and became the first player in Dodgers history to reach 30 doubles in seven consecutive seasons.
"We have to talk about it. It's tough, you want to play healthy,'' Mattingly said. "You don't really want to play short. We'll see when we get there with the roster part of it. The main thing now is to be able to find out if he's going to be able to go or not. We may get enough information that it's not even a question one way or the other.''
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