The Los Angeles Dodgers again appear close to getting near full health with the likes of Corey Knebel, Jimmy Nelson and Corey Seager are nearing returns from their respective injuries.
Knebel has been out since April 24 because of a right lat strain that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts forecasted would keep him out multiple months. The right-hander then was transferred to the 60-day IL on May 2.
Knebel pitched in a simulated game on Thursday, his second of the week, and now is on the verge of joining a Minor League affiliate to begin a rehab assignment. “Get a couple outings, probably try to get a back-to-back in and go from there,” he said.
“I want to make sure I’m ready to go and it’s not going to be get up here and throw, then have to take two days off. I want to make sure that I’m going to get here and throw every day if I have to.”
Knebel didn’t resume throwing until five weeks after suffering the injury. This week marked the first time he’s faced batters, but Knebel had otherwise been throwing every day. “Feeling good. Recovery has gone well,” he said.
“Recovery has been good, lat feels great, body feels good, so that’s a plus right there. The only thing I’ve got to make sure I keep working on is my timing. I’m a max-effort guy, so I’ve got to make sure I can do whatever I can to simulate that max effort like I would in a game.”
Neither Roberts or Knebel are fully certain of how many appearances the forthcoming rehab assignment will entail, but it’s expected to be at least a few games and potentially upwards of five or six.
“I know we’re not going to rush him. We want him to be able to come back and feel 100%, knock the door down,” Roberts explained. “He saved competitive game bullets with the injury, but when he comes back, he’ll be ready to go.
“There’s no cemented plan right now. We just want to make sure he’s 100% when he gets back with us.”
Dodgers may soon welcome back Nelson
Nelson participated in the simulated game at Dodger Stadium by throwing one inning as well. He has been on the IL with a left lumbar strain and could join the Dodgers as soon as this weekend.
“Take two or three days and figure out where we’re at come Tuesday,” Roberts said. “Hopefully he’s an activation. It potentially could be Sunday. We’ll see.”
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