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Brown Still Stuck in Hospital Bed

Pitcher Kevin Brown, suffering from a herniated disk in his lower back, remained hospitalized and confined to bed rest for a third consecutive day Wednesday.

Though General Manager Dan Evans said Brown was feeling better, his condition hasn’t improved to a point where doctors can perform the kinds of extensive tests required to determine a course of treatment.

Once those tests are completed--possibly in the next few days--doctors can decide whether to start Brown on a physical therapy and medication program designed to strengthen the lower back and reduce or shrink the bulging disk or to perform surgery.

A rehab program probably would sideline Brown for up to a month, but that’s assuming he recovers from the inflammation in the back of his surgically repaired right elbow, an injury that sent him to the disabled list May 27.

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If surgery, in which a portion of the protruding disk that is putting pressure on the nerve is either cut out or removed with a laser, is required, Brown probably would be sidelined for at least six weeks and possibly the remainder of the season.

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The Dodgers shouldn’t have any problems signing first-round pick James Loney, a high school first baseman from Missouri City, Texas. Loney has a scholarship offer from Baylor but said doesn’t plan to attend college.

Loney hopes to sign after this weekend’s state tournament, though he may wait another week so he can play in the Texas state all-star game next weekend. The 19th pick overall in the 2001 draft received a $1.3-million bonus, and that’s where Joe Urbon, Loney’s advisor, expects the Dodgers to slot Loney.

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“We’re not going to ask for anything crazy--we just want to be treated fairly,” Urbon said. “Everyone is pretty clear on what he should get.”

After drafting Bryan Tracy, the son of Manager Jim Tracy, in the 21st round Tuesday, the Dodgers made another all-in-the-family pick Wednesday, selecting community college third baseman Jon Riggleman, the son of Dodger bench coach Jim Riggleman, in the 37th round.

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Center fielder Dave Roberts jammed his right knee with a hard slide into second base in the first inning, suffering a minor bruise, but the injury is not expected to sideline him.... Shortstop Cesar Izturis sat out the game because of a sore left hip, but Izturis is expected to play Friday in Baltimore.... Left fielder Brian Jordan, who has been slowed by a sore left knee for several weeks, also was given the day off.


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