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Kent activated less than three weeks after having knee surgery

9/21/2008 - MLB Jeff Kent Los Angeles Dodgers + more

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers activated Jeff Kent from the 15-day disabled list Saturday -- less than three weeks after the 40-year-old second baseman underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.

"Pinch hitting. That's it," manager Joe Torre said before the Dodgers' 10-7 win against San Francisco Giants. Kent did not play.

"He asked me what I had envisioned for him. I told him to be ready to pinch hit. There isn't anything more for him to do. Maybe instructional league after the season."

Torre said if Kent reached base, he would be replaced by a pinch runner. And there are no plans for the baseball's career home run leader among second basemen to play in the field during the remainder of the regular season.

Before batting practice Saturday, Kent ran around the bases at less than full speed.

"This is very unique. Somebody 40 years old and he has surgery and he's back on the active list 2½ weeks later," Torre said.

Asked whether Kent would be on the postseason roster should the NL West-leading Dodgers qualify, Torre replied: "I think we have to see where he is health-wise. In order to make the decision, you have to find out how he is. You have to see what his capabilities are. You have to see what your needs are."

Kent, hitting .275 with 11 homers and 57 RBIs, came out of the Dodgers' 9-3 loss at Arizona on Aug. 29 when his knee locked, and he underwent surgery four days later. Rookie Blake DeWitt took over as the regular second baseman, and the Dodgers entered Saturday night's game having won 15 of 19 to take command in the NL West.

"I am perfectly happy with how DeWitt has played second," Torre said.

Torre also said shortstop Rafael Furcal, who has been on the disabled list since May 6, is a possibility for the postseason roster, but Opening Day starter Brad Penny is a long shot.

"Penny is out of the mix," Torre said. "He hasn't pitched."

Penny, troubled by a sore right shoulder most of the season, had a cortisone shot Friday and tried to throw, but still felt discomfort.

"Tightness is the last thing he complained about," Torre said. "MRIs have shown no structural damage."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.