Dodgers are encouraged by report on Yasiel Puig's hamstring

Dodgers are encouraged by report on Yasiel Puig's hamstring
Yasiel Puig speaks with trainer Stan Conte in the eighth inning against Oakland on Tuesday night. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

With an MRI examination Wednesday morning said to reveal only a minor strain of Yasiel Puig's right hamstring, Manager Don Mattingly was optimistic the former All-Star right fielder would be able to avoid a return to the disabled list.

Mattingly said Puig's strain was described to him by trainer Stan Conte as "very mild."

"This is pretty good news today, it seems like," Mattingly said.

The strain is "way less" severe than the left hamstring strain that landed Puig on the disabled list for five weeks earlier in the season, Mattingly said.

The description matches what Puig said the previous night, when he was injured running out an infield single in the Dodgers' 5-4, 10-inning defeat against the Oakland Athletics.

"This one didn't hurt like the other one," Puig said.

Puig is expected to test his hamstring Friday, when the Dodgers open a three-game series in Houston against the Astros.

Based on what he was told by Conte, Mattingly said, "I had the feeling Yasiel was going to play in Houston, at some point."

The designated-hitter rule will be in effect in the series against the Astros.

With Puig unavailable to play Wednesday against the Athletics, Andre Ethier started in right field. Carl Crawford was in left.

Mattingly wondered whether Puig could have hamstring problems for the remainder of his career.

"You get guys that are really muscular, and big, strong guys, once the leg injuries come, it seems like they kind of hang around," Mattingly said. "It will be something probably that he's going to have to pay attention to throughout his career, to do extra work and making sure he's loose."