Ellis returns, but Gordon may be out for Dodgers

Just when it looked like the Dodgers were getting closer to getting their team back at full strength on Wednesday with the return of second baseman Mark Ellis, they may have lost shortstop Dee Gordon to injury.

Gordon dislocated his right thumb while stealing third base in the eighth inning against the Reds on Wednesday, as his thumb got caught under the bag, and was removed from the game immediately. Postgame X-rays showed nothing broken, but Gordon will have an MRI exam on his thumb to determine the extent of his injury.

Ellis missed 43 games after having leg surgery on May 19, a fasciotomy procedure to relieve pressure in his left leg. He returned after playing in four minor league rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

“The first day (of the rehab assignment) I didn’t feel great, but then every day got a little bit better,” Ellis said. “Yesterday I felt I was ready to go.”

Ellis hit .273 with 27 runs scored in 37 games before getting hurt, and will provide stability and consistency to the Dodgers, who used four different players at second base when Ellis was out. He pinch ran for Gordon in the eighth inning, and played one inning at second base.

“I feel good, and ready to go out and compete,” Ellis said. “The thing I thought about most was just how am I going to get back? That was my main concern during the rehab process.”

Earlier Wednesday the Dodgers placed outfielder Andre Ethier on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, but it was more of a procedural move as he will be ready to return along with outfielder Matt Kemp on July 13 for the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break.

The question is, will Gordon be ready to return with them?

NOTES, QUOTES
Kemp gets two hits in rehab game
   –CF Matt Kemp continued his minor-league rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday night, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and three RBI in his second game. Kemp, who has been out since May 31 with a left hamstring injury, will continue his rehab with Rancho Cucamonga through Sunday, including two weekend games in San Jose. Kemp remains on schedule to participate in the Home Run Derby on July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and to return to the Dodgers on July 13, the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break.
   –RF Andre Ethier, who missed six straight games through Tuesday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained left oblique, retroactive to June 28. Ethier injured the oblique on a check swing June 27 against RHP Tim Lincecum of the Giants in San Francisco. Ethier will be eligible to return July 13, the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break. “I did everything short of begging and pleading not to put me on the DL and let me give it a go, but the decision was put above me to make that call,” Ethier said.
   –SS Dee Gordon jammed his thumb on a head-first slide while stealing third base Wednesday night against the Reds. Gordon had to leave the game immediately. Though X-rays showed nothing broken, he did have a dislocated thumb and will have an MRI exam July 5. Gordon has started 73 of the Dodgers’ 73 games this season.
   –RHP Javy Guerra will travel with the team to Arizona and though he has been cleared medically to be activated from the disabled list, Guerra could pitch another rehab game at the Dodgers’ facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., before getting activated. Manager Don Mattingly said the team would make a decision regarding Guerra in Arizona.
   –2B Mark Ellis was activated from the disabled list Wednesday, appeared as a pinch runner in the eighth inning against the Reds and played one inning at second base for the Dodgers. Ellis, who was 4-for-14 with two walks, three runs scored and three RBI in four minor league rehab games, has been sidelined since undergoing an emergency fasciotomy on May 19, a procedure to relieve pressure in his left leg. The Dodgers went 19-24 in the 43 games that Ellis missed.
   –RHP Matt Guerrier threw off flat ground Sunday and Tuesday after being pain free in his elbow for two straight weeks. It was the first time Guerrier has even played catch since getting shut down in June with elbow pain. Guerrier, who has been sidelined since April 19 with right elbow inflammation, will throw on back-to-back days for the first time when the Dodgers are in Arizona to play the Diamondbacks.
   BY THE NUMBERS: 22 — Games, before Wednesday’s win over the Reds, since the Dodgers last had last won two straight games. The Dodgers beat the Mariners twice in Seattle on June 9-10, but had lost 15 of 20 games before beating the Reds Tuesday and Wednesday.
   QUOTE TO NOTE: “As soon as I got up I knew I jammed it, and when I looked at my batting gloves and it looked disfigured.” — SS Dee Gordon on dislocating his right thumb in Wednesday’s win over Cincinnati.