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Penny's Injury Not Too Serious

An MRI exam on the right-handed pitcher reveals no significant damage to biceps. He is expected to miss only one start.

August 10, 2004|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

The Dodgers' new ace will pitch again this season, and fairly soon. Brad Penny, who walked off the mound on Sunday grabbing his right arm and grimacing in pain, is expected to miss only one start after an MRI exam Monday revealed no significant injury within his strained right biceps.

"He may have stretched something in there to cause the pain, but there isn't any kind of tear," General Manager Paul DePodesta said.

The Dodgers did not put Penny on the disabled list and do not plan to do so unless he encounters discomfort when he resumes throwing, DePodesta said.

Kazuhisa Ishii, demoted to the bullpen last Saturday, probably will start in Penny's place this Saturday.

The examination also checked for -- and ruled out -- damage to his shoulder or elbow, DePodesta said.

Penny suffered the injury in the first inning of Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

"When he came off the mound, I sort of assumed it was almost definitely a DL situation, and probably one of significance," DePodesta said. "I feel much better today. We can all live with one start. At this point, I could live with a couple of starts if we know we're going to have him sound for the rest of the year."

The Dodgers, with the third-best record in baseball, lead the National League West by 6 1/2 games. In order to fortify the starting rotation for the playoffs, DePodesta included All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca and top setup man Guillermo Mota in a package to acquire Penny from the Florida Marlins on July 30.

Although the Marlins put Penny on the disabled list because of arm problems in 2000 and 2002, DePodesta did not make the trade contingent on Penny passing a physical and said it would be "not very practical" to attach such a condition to a midseason deal.

Before the trade, DePodesta said, the Dodger medical staff reviewed medical records and consulted with the Marlins' medical staff. DePodesta absolved the Marlins of any responsibility for the injury, saying he had been assured by Dodger trainers that Penny had no lingering soreness or other issues preceding Sunday's start.

"I don't have any question he came to us in a sound manner," DePodesta said. "There's no suspicion in my mind there was anything wrong with him."

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