Carl Crawford signs autographs at spring training last month. (Rob Tringali / Getty Images )
PHOENIX — Carl Crawford's health has been one of the main story lines through the first two weeks of spring training. But if Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti is concerned, he's done a good job masking it.
Crawford had hoped to make his Cactus League debut last Thursday, only to spend the day flying to Los Angeles to have his surgically repaired left elbow checked by team doctor Neal ElAttrache.
The diagnosis was minor nerve irritation, which ElAttrache said is common during the rehab process from Tommy John surgery. Still, Crawford was ordered not to throw or swing a bat for another week.
"We’ve got four weeks," Colletti said. "If somebody has to miss five games or 10 games at the start of the season and when they come back and they’re healthy after that point in time, that’s the way it will be.
"He’s given every indication he’s going to work – and has worked – exceedingly hard to be ready for Opening Day. In some cases he may have worked a little bit too hard. There’s only so much anybody can control. After that it’s just healing and nature."
Crawford hasn't played a game for the Dodgers since being acquired from the Boston Red Sox last August, days after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery. But he remains optimistic he'll be ready for April 1.
"There’s plenty of time," he said. "That’s still a goal of mine. And if I don’t make it, then we’ll just have to push it back a week or so. But that’s definitely the date I want to try to reach. And I'm going to try my best to do that.
"But at the same time I have be patient and not try to damage this thing."
If Crawford opens the season on the disabled list the Dodgers are likely to use a platoon of veteran utility players Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston in left field.
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