Yasiel Puig has thumb ligament strain; Chad Billingsley has scare

Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig breaks his bat while grounding out against the San Diego Padres on March 30. Puig has a ligament strain in his left thumb, but the injury likely will not warrant a trip to the disabled list.
(Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)

Yasiel Puig returned from an MRI Sunday and appeared in the dugout with his left hand heavily wrapped.

Scare No.1.

Meanwhile, word had come from Rancho Cucamonga that Chad Billingsley had walked off the field with a trainer in his first rehab start.

That would be scare No.2

After Sunday’s 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers were exhaling a bit easier, saying both players appeared to have skirted any serious issues.


Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Puig’s MRI showed a left thumb ligament strain. He said the Dodgers would know more Monday if strength began to return to the thumb, but in a discussion with team vice president of medical services Stan Conte (corrected), he did not believe it was a situation for the disabled list.

“Just talking to Stan, it never came up, so it was never we’re going to have to do this with Yasiel,” he said. “It seemed more like a day-to-day thing than a DL thing.”

Puig did not play Sunday after injuring the thumb Saturday when it caught on the first-base bag during a head-first slide. The Dodgers are off Monday, so Puig will have another day of rest before the team hosts the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

Billingsley, coming back from Tommy John surgery, started for the Class-A Quakes. After an easy 1-2-3 first, he suffered what Mattingly called “a sensation” in his elbow during the second inning.

“It gave us a little scare when we heard about it,” Mattingly said. “Then we got the good news during the game that [Dr. Neal ElAttrache] looked at it and felt pretty good about it. Hopefully this is just part of the process of him kind of getting where he has to go.”

Billingsley was only scheduled to throw 20-25 pitches. In his 1 1/3 innings, he was charged with two runs on one hit and a walk. He struck out one.