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DODGERS FYI

Jones has torn cartilage in knee

May 20, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

Andruw Jones has torn cartilage and a buildup of fluid in his right knee, according to the results of an MRI exam he underwent Monday.

Jones said that if the swelling in his knee doesn't subside by Friday, he will undergo surgery that will sideline him for four to five weeks.

"Hopefully, I can do it in the off-season," he said of the possible surgery.

The center fielder, who signed a two-year, $36.2-million deal in the winter but is batting only .167, said he felt discomfort in his knee over the last two games in Anaheim.

Jones was 0 for 11 in the three-game series, which concluded Sunday as the Dodgers lost two of three.

He said he had difficulty sleeping Sunday night, which is why he placed a call the next morning to trainer Stan Conte.

In addition to damaged cartilage, Jones said he has a golf-ball sized wart behind his knee that might have to be surgically removed. Because of the wart's location, he said, it can't be drained.

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Rafael Furcal took ground balls and hit on the field for the first time since being put on the disabled list.

Furcal is eligible to be activated Wednesday, but Torre guessed that he wouldn't play until the Dodgers open a three-game series the against St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Furcal didn't rule out playing Wednesday, but he also made no guarantees about Friday.

"It depends on how I feel," he said. "Nothing's certain."

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Backup catcher Gary Bennett said that he has spoken to a sports psychologist about the problems he has had throwing the ball back to the mound after each pitch. But Bennett, who has a habit of taking a few steps toward the pitcher and looping him the ball, put the two errant throws he made to first base in the Dodgers' series in Anaheim in a different category.

Of the throw he made over first baseman James Loney's head Sunday, Bennett said, "That was just a bad throw."

Bennett said he had some problems delivering the ball back to the pitcher last season playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, but that it didn't become a real issue until this spring.

He said there wasn't a particular throw or incident that triggered the problem.

"That's the odd part, there's nothing I can pinpoint," he said. "It's very odd. It's very frustrating."

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Esteban Loaiza, who is on the disabled list because of tightness in his right shoulder, pitched three innings in a rehab start for Class-A Inland Empire.

Loaiza gave up a run and three hits against Lake Elsinore, the run coming in the second inning, when he gave up two doubles.

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Former Dodgers pitcher Don Sutton was at Dodger Stadium to promote his "Stay in the Game" program to fight kidney cancer. Sutton, who is battling the disease, encouraged fans to visit the campaign's website, stayingame.com. . . . The Chinese national team, coached by former Dodgers infielder Jim Lefebvre, took batting practice at Dodger Stadium. Lefebvre said the excitement created by the two exhibition games the Dodgers played against San Diego in Beijing in March has improved baseball's image with Chinese sports officials. . . . Nomar Garciaparra, whose strained left calf has been slow to heal, will undergo tests today.

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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