Reporting from San Diego -- Rafael Furcal's planned return to the Dodgers was delayed Friday when the shortstop and leadoff hitter said his injured left hamstring was still nagging him.
The Dodgers expected to put Furcal, 32, back in the lineup for their series with the San Diego Padres, but Furcal said before Friday's game that "they don't want me to play today" because the hamstring was "still bothering me a little bit."
Furcal, who was batting .309 when he went on the disabled list, said, "I don't want to say I can play and then go play two innings and then [they] take me out and then put me on the DL again. It's better you lose two days and then don't lose 15 more days."
Asked if he might have to skip the three-game series with the Padres, Furcal said, "I don't know; we've got to see. We'll keep working on it."
Dodgers Manager Joe Torre said "it's probably going to be a few days" before Furcal returns.
"He just didn't feel sure that he could just turn it loose," Torre said. "He feels down about it, but we can't have him unless he's all the way there. His speed means too much to his game. He didn't reinjure anything; it's just not all the way back."
Furcal played two rehabilitation games with the Dodgers' single-A affiliate in San Bernardino this week in anticipation of his return, and "if I have to go to the minor leagues and play a couple of more games, then I'll do it," he said.
"It's been a disappointment for me," Furcal said. "I don't want to be hurt; I want to be on the field, doing what I used to do."
Furcal injured the hamstring while running to first base April 27 in a game against the Mets in New York.
In a career plagued with arm trouble, reliever Hong-Chih Kuo typically has been an effective pitcher when he's healthy, and that's been the case again early this season.
After being on the disabled list at season's start with more elbow soreness, Kuo was activated April 22 and, in his last six appearances, the Taiwanese left-hander has allowed only one hit, one walk and no runs.
More important, Kuo said his arm was "feeling fine."
There has been "a little bit" of pain after his outings but "it's normal for me," said Kuo, who has had several elbow operations.
He said his arm felt nearly as well as it did for most of the 2008 season, when he had a 2.14 earned-run average in a career-high 80 innings of work before he suffered more arm trouble near the end of that season.
Kuo, 28, pitched only 30 innings last year because of elbow soreness, with a 3.00 ERA.
The 193-acre farm in Iowa where the movie "Field of Dreams" was filmed is up for sale, reportedly with an asking price of $5.4 million. Would Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake, a native of Indianola, Iowa, have an interest?
"If I buy the farm, can I play shortstop every day?" he quipped. Kidding aside, Blake said he wasn't interested.
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