Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ethier Targeting Monday's Homestand for Return

Tony Jackson just wrote that Dodger right fielder Andre Ethier, splinted on his right little finger and on the DL since May 15 due to the fracture, may be back Monday after a two-game rehab stint:

Ethier, who has a broken bone in the first knuckle of his right little finger, will first do a two-game rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday and Saturday at Memphis.

The key word, of course, being "tentatively."

"It's open," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "If he feels he needs more, we just want to make sure we get him back and he has no hesitation. It's a matter of what he can deal with and what he feels he can do. Whether he goes 0 for 10 or 5 for 10 [in the rehab], it's just a matter of what he feels he can deal with."

Ethier is wearing a tiny splint on the finger, recommended to the Dodgers' medical staff by Los Angeles Lakers trainer Gary Vitti.

The splint immobilizes the affected knuckle but allows full range of motion in the rest of the finger. Ethier took batting practice on the field with the rest of the team Tuesday and Wednesday -- the Dodgers didn't take BP before Thursday's afternoon game -- and appeared to be taking his normal swing.

"He has no issues taking BP outside," Torre said. "As far as what I saw with his swing, he was very free."

Free? Free! Free Andre Ethier!