Until Wednesday night, Kirk Gibson was prepared to join the Dodger lineup from his rehabilitation assignment in Albuquerque, even if he had to walk to Los Angeles.
"But at 11 last night, I could barely walk," Gibson said Thursday.
Thus the Dodgers' hopes of having their leader return for Thursday night's series opener with the Cincinnati Reds were dashed. After three at-bats as a designated hitter for Albuquerque against Edmonton on Wednesday night, Gibson's surgically repaired left knee was too sore to allow him to return.
His first game since July 22, 1989, will have to wait one more day. At least.
"Like I have always said, what good am I if I come back and play one game, and then miss four?" Gibson said Thursday. "I'm learning to deal with this; I'm learning that I have to be completely ready to play."
Gibson still returned from Albuquerque Thursday morning as scheduled, informing the Dodgers early Thursday afternoon that he was not fit to be activated. He then took early batting practice at Dodger Stadium, and ran hard in the outfield. Depending how he feels this morning, he could return to the lineup as soon as tonight.
"We have no program, nothing has changed from my original plan," Gibson said. "I'll see how it feels every day."