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Kenta Maeda to make start for Dodgers on Sunday

Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

The man in question walked across the dugout as Manager Dave Roberts spoke to a group of reporters.

“Kenta is ready to go,” Roberts said before Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. “He’s feeling good. He’ll be ready to make his start. Right, Kenta?”

Kenta Maeda looked up and smiled.

“Tomorrow?” Roberts asked.

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“Yes,” Maeda said, pumping his fist, a gesture designed to relay his readiness for his start in Sunday’s series finale against Milwaukee.

Maeda still wore a pad around his right knee, which absorbed a batted ball on Tuesday night at Arizona. The 95-mph line drive struck by Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt put a scare into the Dodgers, but the team experienced a bit of good fortune. The ball connected with the muscle on the outer side of Maeda’s knee, rather than the bones.

An X-ray in Phoenix showed no fracture in his leg. Maeda did not require a CT scan for further inspection, as his condition has improved daily. But he did skip his bullpen session this week.

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Roberts indicated Maeda would not be operating with any restrictions on Sunday.

“He’s moving around, feeling good,” Roberts said. “His arm is still in shape, and feels good.”

Yasiel Puig is returning next week

With Yasiel Puig due to return from the disabled list on Monday against the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers must choose between several different avenues in order to clear space on the roster for him.

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The clearest choice would be optioning outfielder Will Venable, who the team signed earlier this week. Venable, 33, still has minor league options. The team could also option Scott Van Slyke or Enrique Hernandez.

Hernandez’s best utility is his ability to play shortstop in an emergency. Heading into Saturday’s games, Hernandez was hitting .195 for the season and .136 since April.

Puig has been rehabbing from a strained hamstring with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.

andy.mccullough@latimes.com

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Twitter: @McCulloughTimes


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