Mark Ellis getting closer to returning

Nearly four weeks ago, Mark Ellis was injured so badly that he had to have emergency surgery to relieve the pressure that had built up in his left leg. But Wednesday was his second day of taking grounders at Dodger Stadium, and he will likely take batting practice by the weekend.

“To be where I’m at now is definitely a positive,” Ellis said Wednesday. “I’ve been building strength in my leg. I did basically nothing for two weeks, so I’m trying to get back in shape.”

Ellis hurt his leg on May 18 against the St. Louis Cardinals on a play at second base, when Tyler Greene slid hard into Ellis and their shins collided. Ellis said the play was clean and that he hadn’t heard from Greene nor did he expect to.

“It was a baseball play; there was nothing about it,” Ellis said. “Matt Holliday sent me a real nice text. We were teammates in Oakland and he was concerned.”

The initial estimate for Ellis to return was at least six weeks, but that was pending examination of his knee, which later showed a contusion. But there are no plans for any additional medical procedures for Ellis.

“I don’t feel anything in my knee, so there’s no reason to go in there and do anything,” he said.

Ellis said he would need to play in minor league rehab games before returning to the Dodgers but added that there was no timetable yet set for his activation. However, while Ellis is taking a day-by-day approach to his recovery, he is looking forward to eventually playing again for the Dodgers.

“I’m excited to get back on the field,” he said.

NOTES, QUOTES
Miles, languishing in minors, decides to retire
   –INF Aaron Miles, who hit .235 with a .297 on-base percentage in 18 games with Triple A Albuquerque, retired on Wednesday. Miles, who was signed by the Dodgers to a minor league contract on May 11, hit .275 for the Dodgers in 2011, starting 61 games at second base and 49 games at third base.
   –RHP Nathan Eovaldi allowed just one run in six innings Wednesday night against the Angels but is still winless despite a 1.82 ERA in his four starts. The Dodgers have scored two runs with Eovaldi in the game in those four starts. “You just go out there, and wins will come,” Eovaldi said.
   –RHP Kenley Jansen allowed a home run in the ninth inning to Erick Aybar of the Angels and suffered his second loss in three games. It was the second time in the last 10 days Jansen has pitched three days in a row. “I just have to keep attacking and keep pitching, be aggressive. You have to have a short memory in this game,” Jansen said.
   –INF/OF Elian Herrera started in center field, his fourth start of the season in center. Herrera went 0-for-3 with a walk and scored the Dodgers’ only run in their 2-1 loss to the Angels. With Juan Uribe back at third base, Herrera will see more time in the outfield in addition to occasional time at third and second base. Before Herrera, the last Dodger to start at least four games at second base, third base and center field was Derrel Thomas in 1983.
   –RHP Ronald Belisario pitched a scoreless seventh inning, extending his scoreless streak to seven innings, with opposing batters hitting .050 (1-for-20) against Belisario during that span. After missing all of 2011 because of visa problems, Belisario has allowed only two runs in 19 appearances this season. He has a 1-0 record and miniscule 0.98 ERA.
   BY THE NUMBERS: 28 — One-run games played by the Dodgers in their 64 games this season, including Wednesday night against the Angels. No team in baseball has played more one-run games than the Dodgers, who are 16-12 in such contests.
   QUOTE TO NOTE: “To be where I’m at now is definitely a positive.” — Mark Ellis, on his recovery from May leg surgery.

ROSTER REPORT
   MEDICAL WATCH:
   –LHP Clayton Kershaw (plantar fasciitis) has been bothered by the foot irritation when he runs, but he said it doesn’t affect him when he pitches.
   –3B Juan Uribe (sprained left wrist) went on the 15-day disabled list May 14. He began taking batting practice in late May. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on June 8, and he was activated June 11. He returned to the lineup June 12.
   –RHP Javy Guerra (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 3. He underwent surgery June 5 and will be out until July.
   –CF Matt Kemp (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 14. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Albuquerque on May 27, and he was activated May 29. He re-injured the hamstring May 30 and left the game. He went back on the 15-day disabled list May 31, and he is expected to be out until at least late June. He had resumed taking batting practice as of mid-June.
   –LHP Ted Lilly (left shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 24. An MRI showed no damage, so he won’t need surgery. But he still can’t throw.
   –INF Justin Sellers (bulging lower back disk) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23. The problem was causing him numbness in his right leg. He received a second epidural injection in early June.
   –2B Mark Ellis (left leg surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list May 19. He had to have a second surgery May 21 to drain his swollen left leg, two days after having an emergency fasciotomy to relieve pressure in the leg. He was hitting off a tee in mid-June. He will be out until at least mid-July.
   –RHP Matt Guerrier (right elbow tendinitis) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 19, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 4. He threw a bullpen session May 16 and then had to rest for three days with elbow soreness. He had more elbow pain May 23, slowing his recovery again. He isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break.
   –RHP Blake Hawksworth (arthroscopic right elbow surgeries in January 2012 and February 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 27. He played in an intrasquad game at the Dodgers’ Arizona facility on May 24.
   –RHP Rubby De La Rosa (Tommy John surgery in August 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 26.