As the season winds down, the Dodgers are finding themselves getting healthier as Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez have all returned from significant injuries.
Crawford and Kemp have played regularly, while the Dodgers plan to limit Hanley’s games down the stretch as he looks to fully recover from an irritated nerve in his back. However, Andre Ethier is still on the mend with a sprained ankle and Don Mattingly talked to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times when he expects him to return:
He has jogged and hit during pregame workouts the past two days, and said he is feeling better. Mattingly said if there are no setbacks, he hopes Ethier will be able to play during the three-game series in San Francisco that starts Tuesday.
Ethier has been sidelined since September 13 and it was revealed that he originally injured the ankle against the Rockies in a previous series.
Once Kemp was hurt, Ethier slid over to center field and his season took off from there. For the season, Ethier is hitting .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBIs, but with four healthy outfielders, it remains to be seen how he’ll be used going forward.
While there’s still home field advantage to play for, Mattingly has made it clear that he wants his injured stars to be as close to 100 percent before the playoffs start. It’d be great for Ethier to get a couple games under his belt, but don’t look for him to press the issue if the ankle isn’t responding.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!