By Steve Dilbeck
1:49 PM PDT, September 15, 2013
Injuries have been so frequent with the Dodgers this season and Manager Don Mattingly so incredibly wrong in his estimates of how long his wounded would be out, he just doesn’t want to play anymore.
Or he only wants to play.
Either way, it’s become difficult to figure out how serious the latest Dodger injury is: Yasiel Puig is out of the lineup Sunday with a sore hip.
Which means he’s expected to be out how long?
“I’m not quite sure,” Mattingly said. “I’m thinking somewhere between seven and 10 days for him hopefully. Maybe two weeks. Or three. Or it could be tomorrow even.”
This much I can tell you with absolute certainty: All four of the Dodgers' ballyhooed outfielders are currently out with injuries and the postseason is two weeks away.
Carl Crawford was also out of Sunday's lineup with a sore back, Andre Ethier (again in a walking boot) was out with a sore foot and Matt Kemp is on the disabled list with sore hamstring.
One, two or three could return by Monday when the Dodgers open a four-game series in Arizona. Kemp, who has been working out at the team’s training facility in Phoenix, is scheduled to join the team and could be activated. Or he could keep working out with the team and be activated later.
“Depending on where he’s at, it could be tomorrow,” Mattingly said.
Kinda like everyone else.
Mattingly’s frustration over giving injury reports that proved erroneous are the Dodgers’ own fault. They decided this season that all team health updates would come from Mattingly and not the training staff. He’s repeating what he’s been told and when the estimates prove wrong – and sometimes wildly wrong (see: Kemp) – Mattingly is the one facing the puzzled looks.
“I’m just playing around,” Mattingly said. “That’s what I’m saying. Between a day and 10 days, two weeks. It’s just a pretty big window for me to be right. And I’d really like to be right on this. That would be a first this year. So I’m trying to give myself a lot of opportunity to be right today.”
Puig appeared to be walking without pain in the clubhouse. But if Mattingly’s longest cover-his-butt estimate is a possibility, then Puig could miss the beginning of the playoffs.
Sunday’s outfield was composed of Jerry Hairston Jr. in left, Skip Schumaker in center and Nick Buss (just called up Saturday) in right, with Dee Gordon at short. Monday it could be Crawford, Kemp, Puig in the outfield and Hanley Ramirez (back) all in the lineup. Or not one of them.
None of which cleared up how serious Puig’s injury is and how long he could be out.
“I’m trying to get my head around it too,” Mattingly said. “Anywhere from a day to two weeks. He could play tomorrow. Or 10 days or seven days or five days. I’m playful. I’m playing today.”
All cleared up.
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