Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig ran and performed agility drills before Tuesday's game at Dodger Stadium as he works his way back from another hamstring injury.
"That's a good sign," Manager Don Mattingly said.
That doesn't necessarily mean Puig will be ready to return in the regular season. Mattingly has cautioned he may not be ready until the postseason and has said whether he returns depends on how sharp he is.
So how long would Puig need to regain his timing?
"That's a great question," Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire said. "Some guys can get it quickly. Some guys it takes time. So hopefully he can get it quickly."
This late in the season, Puig, who declined to comment, will most likely play in the Dodgers' instructional league instead of a traditional minor league rehabilitation assignment. That provides a useful simulation of major league pitching, McGwire said, but it is not the real thing.
"You can't simulate a real major league game," he said. "But, you can simulate playing the game, testing your hamstring out, going through the soreness that you're going to go through for not playing for a month or however long he's been out. But he's a great athlete, and I think he'll be fine."
How much the lack of live game experience can hinder a player's timing varies by player, McGwire said.
"This game's not easy," McGwire said. "But he's talented."
Van Slyke out
Chris Heisey was in the lineup in right field Tuesday instead of Scott Van Slyke. Van Slyke, Mattingly said, was dealing with a sore hand.
Which one? Mattingly sighed.
"It's one of his hands," he said.
Van Slyke's right hand, it was later determined, has developed a cyst. It is not infected, but it has become sore, so Van Slyke was given the day to rest.
Howie Kendrick, who is out with a hamstring injury, hit in a simulated game Tuesday and is scheduled to run Wednesday before he is reevaluated. … Second baseman and outfielder Jose Peraza began his rehabilitation process for a hamstring injury, Mattingly said. Peraza is not expected to return in the regular season, but he has not been placed on the disabled list.