Andre Ethier's bruised shin is nervous time for Dodgers

Andre Ethier limped into the Dodgers' clubhouse on crutches on Saturday morning. An X-ray on his bruised right shin came back negative, but Ethier still felt discomfort after fouling a ball off his leg the afternoon before.

"I squared myself up pretty good right there," Ethier said as he stood at his locker at Camelback Ranch.

The foul connected in the sweet spot between his shin guard and knee pad. After 10 years in the majors, Ethier explained, his legs were littered with scars from similar incidents. But he had never felt pain like this.

The sight of Ethier crumpled in the dirt must have concerned the Dodgers' brass. Ethier is a crucial component of the team's offense. Manager Dave Roberts has been using Ethier as his leadoff hitter against right-handed pitchers.

Roberts expects Ethier to be ready by opening day. Ethier is unsure when he will be able to resume baseball activity. He said there was not a noticeable amount of swelling.

"I definitely feel a lot better today than I did yesterday," Ethier said. "We'll see in the next couple days here. We have a little bit of time yet, so I'm not really worried yet."

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