Vernon Wells likely in Tuesday

Updated: March 28, 2011, 9:23 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

The start of Vernon Wells' career with the Los Angeles Angels could be delayed by a nagging hamstring injury.

Wells originally was scheduled to play in Monday night's exhibition game at Dodger Stadium, but was scratched after a conversation he had with manager Mike Scioscia the day before. Wells said he "definitely" will play Tuesday night at Angel Stadium, the team's final tune-up before Opening Day, but Scioscia said there's no guarantee of that.

"If he comes out and tests it and it isn't quite right, we'll adjust and he'll get three more days off before we start the season, but we anticipate him playing tomorrow," Scioscia said.

Wells hasn't played since leaving the Angels' March 23 game with what was described as a mildly strained left hamstring.

The Angels got surprisingly good injury news on left-handed reliever Scott Downs, who threw a bullpen session before Monday's game and now anticipates missing just the first week of the regular season. He is eligible to return from the disabled list April 6.

"I definitely didn't baby it," Downs said. "It was basically just getting on the bump to see how it felt and I ended up throwing about 20 pitches like it was a regular game. It felt great."

Downs fractured his left big toe March 13. He said he injured it while playing with his kids.

The Angels acquired both Downs and Wells from the Toronto Blue Jays over the winter, Wells in a trade and Downs via free agency.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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