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Dodgers uncertain how long Kenley Jansen will be sidelined with heart condition

The Dodgers awoke Friday morning uncertain how long they would be without closer Kenley Jansen. Scheduled to fly home from Denver late on Thursday after experiencing an irregular heartbeat, he remained grounded when his flight was canceled, a team official said. He was expected to land in Los Angeles on Friday and visit with his cardiologist soon after his arrival.

Jansen has experienced several episodes related to his heart, two of them in the thin air of Denver. He was prescribed blood thinners in July 2011 and missed a month. He missed three weeks in 2012 when given a similar prescription. He experienced altitude-related symptoms on a visit to Coors Field in 2015 but was cleared to pitch soon after.

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An exact timetable for Jansen’s return is unlikely to be discerned before he visits with his doctor. He underwent an evaluation at a Denver hospital on Thursday, but general manager Farhan Zaidi cautioned the team needed the opinion of Jansen’s primary cardiologist before proceeding.

“He’s feeling pretty normal right now, from what we understand,” Zaidi said Thursday. “But obviously it’s too soon to tell any sort of timetable, or how long he might be out, until we get him fully evaluated tomorrow.”

The Dodgers used Scott Alexander to close a wild 8-5 victory on Thursday over the Rockies. Alexander is likely to remain the primary closer if Jansen misses a significant chunk of time, although another option could become available in a few days.

Kenta Maeda is scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Friday. He excelled in the bullpen last October, and the Dodgers were expected to relocate him there again down the stretch. After this start, Maeda could return to the bullpen and split save opportunities with Alexander.

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