Rafael Furcal could be back in the lineup when the Dodgers open a crucial three-game series against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.
Furcal is scheduled to go on a two-game minor league rehabilitation assignment with the Dodgers' triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque, which will start Wednesday.
Sidelined since Aug. 3 with a lower back strain, the shortstop spent last week rehabilitating at the Dodgers' spring-training complex in Arizona. He has worked out at Dodger Stadium over the last couple of days and reported feeling better.
"Everything feels good," Furcal said. "Totally better than before. Right now, I feel good."
Utility player Jamey Carroll has started at shortstop in Furcal's absence.
Club charity under investigation
The Dodgers Dream Foundation is under investigation by the California attorney general's office for payments it made to club executive Howard Sunkin, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the situation.
The Dodgers issued a statement confirming that their official charity received a letter from the attorney general's office and added that the foundation is "cooperating fully with that office."
The charity was sent requests for documents and answers related to how it paid Sunkin, who received more than $400,000 in 2007, about a quarter of the foundation's budget that year. Sunkin's compensation is said to be excessive for a charity of the foundation's size.
Theriot out of lineup
Feeling the ill effects of a wayward slide by Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Jayson Werth, Ryan Theriot was scratched from the Dodgers' lineup Tuesday. Ronnie Belliard replaced Theriot at second base.
Theriot hyperextended his left knee and was examined after the game Monday, said trainer Stan Conte.
"It was all right yesterday," Theriot said. "It just got a little stiff last night. It should be fine. It's no problem."
Theriot said he expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday.
Vicente Padilla said that during the three scoreless innings he pitched for Class-A Inland Empire on Monday, he didn't feel any of the neck pain that landed him on the disabled list.
But Padilla suffered a setback of sorts, as he was struck on his right arm by a line drive in the second inning of his start.
"It hurts," Padilla said, pointing to his inner forearm.
Padilla, who last pitched Aug. 15, said he didn't know whether his return to the rotation would be delayed. He is tentatively scheduled to start for the Dodgers in San Diego on Monday.
"We'll see what happens," he said. "I don't know if this will throw off my routine."
Part of the routine includes a light mound session Wednesday.
Joe Torre said he isn't ready to announce whether he will manage again next season. But he said that if he decides to return, negotiating a new contract shouldn't be an issue. Of how much he would be paid, Torre said, "I thought we had an understanding" when he broke off extension talks during spring training. … Catcher A.J. Ellis will be among the players called up from the minor leagues this month. Active rosters can expand from 25 to 40 players starting Wednesday and Torre said that in addition to a catcher, he would like to add a few pitchers and an infielder or two.