James Loney (knee) has  MRI

Updated: March 6, 2011, 6:46 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney is expected to resume hitting and throwing on Monday and could return to Cactus League play as early as Wednesday after an MRI exam on his left knee Saturday showed nothing more serious than swelling.

"He says the knee feels tight," manager Don Mattingly said following the Dodgers' 2-0 win over the Reds on Saturday. "We'll give Loney a couple days off."

Although team medical officials didn't think the tightness in Loney's knee was serious, he was sent for the MRI as a precaution after he experienced symptoms for the second time in two days following his four-inning stint in Friday night's game against the San Francisco Giants. Loney initially felt the tightness while stretching before Thursday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds in Goodyear.

The tentative plan is for Loney to take Sunday off, then hit and throw on Monday. Barring a setback, he will run for the first time on Tuesday, then play in Wednesday's game against the Seattle Mariners at Camelback Ranch.

Loney is off to a sizzling start in the Cactus League, batting .500 (5-for-10).

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter. Follow him on Twitter.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com