Dodgers’ Justin Turner hopes to return against St. Louis next week

Dodgers pinch-hitter Justin Turner delivers a run-scoring single against the Cardinals in the eighth inning of a game last month at Dodger Stadium.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

If everything goes according to plan, the Dodgers could have utility infielder Justin Turner back for the club’s first series after the All-Star break in St. Louis next week.

Turner has been on the disabled list since June 29 with a strained left hamstring but is making good progress. He will begin a rehab assignment as the designated hitter with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday.

“Everything feels good,” Turner said before Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres. “I took a bunch of at-bats, but it’s a little different when you have a cage around you than taking actual at-bats. So we’ll see how that goes. If the timing feels good and everything, Friday looks pretty doable.”

The rehab assignment comes on the heels of a running test in Los Angeles on Saturday, the last test Turner had to pass before he could play in a game. According to Turner and Manager Don Mattingly, the test went well.


“Of course, you can’t really simulate game speed, but I felt as close to 100% as I could be,” Turner said.

Added Mattingly: “We’ll see how everything goes, but he’s starting to look good. Our wish would be for him to be ready for St. Louis. We’ll see how that goes, though.”

Turner could play in multiple minor league games during the All-Star break, but it’s more about the at-bats than the games. He’s aiming for 18-20 at-bats, and if the hamstring continues to feel good, he’ll be back with the Dodgers on July 18 against the Cardinals.

The versatile Turner has played three infield positions for the Dodgers this season and is having one of the best statistical seasons of his career, hitting .302 in 159 at-bats.


Follow Everett Cook on Twitter @everettcook