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Dodgers remain cautious regarding return of players

Reporting from Cincinnati

Juan Uribe is supposed to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday for the Dodgers’ opening game of a three-game series in Philadelphia. So are Marcus Thames and Blake Hawksworth.

But Manager Don Mattingly was measured when speaking about their anticipated returns.

“I’m not going to get excited yet,” he said.

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The last time the Dodgers were expecting a player to be activated, the player in question didn’t make it back.

The player was Vicente Padilla, who remained on the disabled list because of sudden neck pain.

The Dodgers already had a close call with Uribe, who was struck on his left hand with a pitch while on a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday night. Uribe was removed from the game, but X-rays were negative.

Uribe has been sidelined since May 22 with a strained abdominal muscle.

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Hawksworth has missed three weeks with a strained groin and Thames a month with a quadriceps strain.

Thames’ activation could lead to the demotion of rookie outfielder Jerry Sands, who is batting .210.

Sands has minor league options remaining, meaning he can be sent down without clearing waivers. If the Dodgers want to keep Sands on their major league roster, they would probably part ways with Jay Gibbons or Tony Gwynn Jr.

“That’s the discussion we’ve been having a lot of, which direction to go there,” Mattingly said.

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Hershiser joins Garvey in potential bid for team

Orel Hershiser, the star of the Dodgers’ last World Series championship team, said Sunday that he has allied with former Dodgers standout Steve Garvey in his effort to buy the club if it is sold.

Hershiser said he believed his experience as an ESPN analyst and as a former player, coach and executive in the major leagues could help the investment group that Garvey is trying to assemble. Hershiser declined to talk specifically about the Dodgers and said he had not considered pursuing ownership of a professional sports team until Garvey contacted him.

“This is not something I’ve sat back and thought a lot about,” Hershiser said. “It is something people dream about.”

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It is uncertain whether Garvey has the financial backing to mount a serious bid. Garvey said in April that billionaire Ron Burkle had joined the investment group, but he conceded on Sunday that he has no formal agreement with him.

Garvey said he believes his group could finance a bid even without Burkle. Hershiser also said he thinks there are more than enough legitimate investors behind the potential bid.

“I think we will be oversubscribed,” Hershiser said. “They definitely have the financial wherewithal to do it.”

Big day for Ely

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John Ely took over for Chad Billingsley in the sixth inning and pitched into the ninth Sunday, when the Dodgers were short of arms in the bullpen.

Matt Guerrier and Scott Elbert had pitched in four of the previous six games, and Mike MacDougal had pitched the last two.

Ely lost his bid for a four-inning save when he walked Ryan Hanigan to start the ninth inning.

“It would have been nice, but a win is a win,” said Ely, who was called up from triple A on Saturday.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Shaikin reported from Los Angeles.


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