Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon scoops up the ball after second baseman Mark… (Harry How / Getty Images )
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said Sunday that the team doctor told him second baseman Mark Ellis was within several hours of possibly having his left leg amputated if Ellis hadn't had emergency surgery.
"That was scary," Mattingly said of the injury, which is expected to keep Ellis out of action for six weeks. "I didn't realize how bad that was."
Ellis, 34, suffered the injury Friday when he was upended by the St. Louis Cardinals' Tyler Greene to break up a double play. Ellis reported to the clubhouse Saturday but told head trainer Sue Falsone and others that the leg still bothered him.
"I could tell he was kind of — you could see the pain a little bit," Mattingly said. "And Sue had a funny look on her face. I'm like, 'I don't like that look on your face, Sue.' And Mark's like, 'I don't either.' "
Falsone and her staff then decided to get Ellis to a hospital near Dodger Stadium immediately, and he had surgery to drain blood and other fluids that had created pressure on the leg's muscles.
Mattingly said team physician Neal ElAttrache told him that "if that thing goes another six or seven hours, you've got a chance of losing a leg. Doc said the muscle basically dies, doesn't get any blood flow."
Mattingly praised Falsone's response and said "it just amazes me that you go from that play to something that could have been that serious if you don't pick it up."
He said doctors also said the injury was "really rare," one more likely to be seen in an auto accident in which "something got smashed."
Mattingly visited Ellis at the hospital Saturday night and said the infielder was "in as good a spirits as you could be."
Aaron Miles on the radar
Ellis joined several other Dodgers on the disabled list, and Ivan De Jesus Jr. was called up from triple-A Albuquerque to replace him on the roster. Another recent call-up, Elian Herrera, started at second base for the Dodgers on Sunday.
Veteran infielder Aaron Miles, who started 61 games at second base for the Dodgers last year, unsuccessfully tested the free-agent market in the off-season and then recently signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers, is playing with Albuquerque.
Asked how soon Miles, 35, might again join the big league club, Mattingly said that "Right now I think we're OK [at second base] and I doubt if Aaron's ready to be up here" given his relatively limited play in the minors so far this year.
"I'm sure we're going to hear more and more about him if we're in a situation that he could be one of those guys" to help the Dodgers infield, Mattingly said.
Catcher A.J. Ellis was hitless in four at-bats Sunday, ending his streak of reaching base safely at 28 games. ... Bobby Abreu has hit safely in six of his last seven games. ... The Dodgers open a three-game series against the Diamondbacks in Phoenix on Monday night.