Carl Crawford talks with Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly last month. (Paul Sancya / Associated…)
PHOENIX -- Left fielder Carl Crawford is scheduled to start swinging a bat Thursday after being shut down for a week with soreness in his left foreman.
Crawford, who underwent reconstructive elbow surgery days before being traded from the Boston Red Sox to the Dodgers last August, had been taking batting practice and throwing before being diagnosed with minor nerve irritation in his forearm. This is not uncommon during the rehab process following Tommy John surgery, team doctor Neal ElAttrache said after examining Crawford in Los Angeles last week.
"I feel good," Crawford said Wednesday.
Manager Don Mattingly said Crawford has been showing up at the Dodgers' Camelback Ranch complex at 5:30 every morning to lift weights and do other work. He will return slowly to baseball activities, either hitting off a tee or against light tosses in the batting cage Thursday and the number of swings he takes will be monitored.
"He'll be kind of more on a rehab program," Mattingly said."He's been able to track balls, stay in shape, running, all his baserunning stuff. So he's been able to do everything, basically, except throw and hit.
"Obviously that's pretty important stuff. But there are other areas that he's able to continue to work on. And we'll see tomorrow. He hasn't felt anything [pain-wise] in like three days now."
Crawford's progress will be dictated by the team's trainers, Mattingly said.
"If something flares up, we want to know what's causing it," he said. "So it will be cautious at first. The biggest thing is we don't want this thing flaring up because we're doing too much too fast, because it can be a longer setback."
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