Yasiel Puig, who has dealt with hamstring injuries all season, might return to the Dodgers much earlier than originally anticipated.
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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wouldn’t speculate as to whether outfielder Yasiel Puig will be available for the NLDS, but it appears as though there’s a chance he now might be.
Mattingly told reporters Thursday that Puig is unexpectedly running at full speed again without any issues after a slow rehab from a right hamstring strain he sustained on Aug. 27.
"Like three days ago, he was running at 80 percent and having pain," Mattingly said. "And then, all of a sudden, he’s going 100 percent and feels fine. It’s been pretty miraculous, actually, for me."
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Injuries to both hamstrings have limited the 24-year-old outfielder to 77 games this season, in which he’s hit .256/.324/.440 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.
Mattingly is awe-struck by how quickly the latter stages of Puig’s rehab have progressed, particularly on the heels of a slow trek to full speed for Howie Kendrick during his recent hamstring rehab.
"We went from Howie at 80 [percent] to 90 and then stayed at 95 for like 10 days," he said. "[Puig] was able to go from 80 to like almost 100 in two days. I think that’s legendary."
The Los Angeles Times reports that Puig is scheduled to play four innings in an instructional league in Arizona on Thursday.
The most recent update on Puig’s status suggested that the Cuban phenom would miss the NLDS but might be available if the Dodgers advance in the postseason.
Amid his recent "miraculous" recovery, Mattingly still wouldn’t speculate on Puig’s postseason eligibility.
"Like a lot of the other stuff with the roster, we haven’t got there," Mattingly said of determining a 25-man postseason roster. "Obviously, he hasn’t played in a while. Playing in the instructional league and playing major leagues is probably two different things."