Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal close
CHICAGO -- There was good news for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday concerning injured shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey Blake, who had both seemed a day earlier to have suffered setbacks in their efforts to come back.
There also was encouraging news concerning most of the other players on the team's unusually lengthy disabled list.
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Furcal, who suffered a badly bruised left knee while sliding into second base on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque, was examined in Los Angeles and deemed to be fine. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 12 with a broken left thumb, but he appears on the verge of being activated.
Furcal is finished with his rehab and will join the Dodgers before Saturday's game with the Chicago White Sox.
The tentative target for his return is either Sunday against the White Sox or Monday night against the Houston Astros.
"We haven't seen him yet,'' Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "We'll bring him back and have him do some baseball work and have [trainer] Stan [Conte] look at him.''
Meanwhile, the soreness Blake felt in his left elbow, where he had a staph infection cleaned out surgically, was nothing more than the normal discomfort that occasionally comes with the stitches that were put into the elbow following the procedure. Blake is now, once again, tentatively slated to begin his rehab at Albuquerque as early as Sunday or Monday, which could put him on track for a return to the Dodgers when they begin a six-game homestand on May 27.
"He'll do a lot of baseball work [Friday], and we'll see how he feels,'' Colletti said.
Reliever Blake Hawksworth, who has been on the 15-day DL since Sunday with a mild right-groin strain but is eligible to return on Friday, also could do so. He is scheduled for a two-game rehab on Monday and Wednesday at advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga, where he will pitch one inning in each game.
Outfielder Marcus Thames, who has been sidelined since May 3 with a right-quadriceps strain, is hoping to begin a rehab by the end of next week.
Closer Jonathan Broxton (bone bruise, right elbow) has begun throwing.
And lefty reliever Hong-Chih Kuo (anxiety disorder) is expected to report to the team's spring training complex in Glendale, Ariz., early next week to begin throwing for the first time since he abruptly left the team last week with what appeared to be a mild case of the yips in which he couldn't throw the ball where he wanted to.
Infielder Aaron Miles was out of the lineup for Friday night's interleague game with the White Sox because of a sore rib cage. Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said the injury did not appear serious.
Vicente Padilla, the most recent Dodgers reliever to go on the DL, could begin a throwing program soon. He is sidelined with a sore right forearm.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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