PHOENIX — While the pain in Devon White's injured left arm is lessening, the Dodger center fielder says the best indication of healing will be when he can swing a bat at full speed.
"Now, it's a matter of strengthening the muscles around [the tear] without hurting it [further]," says White, who added that the swelling has.
White says he is being careful not to re-injure it in rehabilitation.
"I can't really give you a timetable, but I'll know it's better when I can hit off a tee."
The seven-time Gold Glove winner, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 5 retroactive to May 3, injured himself diving for a ball in the Dodgers' 5-3 loss to the visiting Atlanta Braves on May 2.
In the second year of a three-year, $12.4-million contract, the switch-hitting White had a .289 average with three home runs and nine runs batted in while batting leadoff.
White, who resides in nearby Paradise Valley, Ariz., joined the Dodgers in Phoenix for the first leg of their 12-game trip.
He played one year with the expansion Diamondbacks in 1998 and was the team's most valuable player before joining the Dodgers last year as a free agent. He will make $4 million this season, $5 million in 2001.
White, 37, is hedging on undergoing season-ending surgery but says he doesn't want to rush his return too much.
"A positive in this whole thing, if there is a positive, is that it's not my throwing arm," he said. "After there is no more pain, then I'll start to strengthen it."
The Dodgers were trying to accommodate Todd Hollandsworth with a trade, but took him off the market when White was injured.
General Manager Kevin Malone had offers from several teams, and could have completed a deal this week. Although Hollandsworth expected to be traded, he said he's still focused on helping the Dodgers.
"This isn't going to change how I play or how I approach the game," said Hollandsworth, who played Monday against the Diamondbacks. "I'm still going to go out there and give the same type of effort I always have.
"Obviously, the situation is still unsettled, and I don't think anyone is going to know [about White's rotator cuff] for a while. It looks like I'm going to be out there now, and we'll just have to take it from there."
Hollandsworth has become frustrated as his role decreased. His agent, Jeff Moorad, asked Malone for help, and Malone agreed to consider offers, changing his stance on moving the valuable reserve.
However, Malone is again reevaluating his position after White's injury. He's now considering keeping Hollandsworth for the remainder of the season regardless of White's situation.
"We're trying to win, and we can't do anything that hurts us as a team," Malone said. "I like Holly and I understand he wants to play, that's why we were talking to other clubs, but we have to see what happens with Devo.
"It's not just when Devo comes back, it's also how he comes back. And we don't know what's going to happen.
"Maybe our needs will change and we'll be looking for trades in other areas. We have to take a look at everything."
Hollandsworth will be eligible for free agency after the season.
Reliever Gregg Olson (right forearm strain) accompanied the team on the trip, but he's not expected to come off the disabled list soon.
Olson, who pitched for Arizona the previous two seasons, experienced discomfort in his arm during his rehabilitation outing, Manager Davey Johnson said. Olson is expected to test his arm in a bullpen session this week.
(3-1, 4.73 ERA)
(2-3, 4.68 ERA)
Bank One Ballpark, 6:30.
TV--Fox Sports Net 2. Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330)
* Update--Many figured the enigmatic and eccentric Perez would have been shelled enough by now that he'd be pitching in the minors. But the left-handed has made good on his claim that all he needed was mound work to get results. After beating four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves in his last start, Perez is 3-0 with a 3.90 ERA in his last five appearances. He is 1-2 with a 6.59 ERA lifetime against the Diamondbacks in four games. Reynoso has never lost to the Dodgers, going 5-0 with a 2.80 ERA in nine career appearances.