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For the Dodgers, the bad news just keeps coming: Rafael Furcal injures back, Manny Ramirez return pushed back, Jeff Weaver to DL

August 3, 2010 |  6:52 pm
If the cavalry’s coming, it must be in disguise. Familiar faces are starting to drop. And one of them is very scary.

The pregame news was all bad for the Dodgers on Tuesday, and that was besides the six-game losing streak.

-- Manny Ramirez, rehabbing his latest leg injury in Phoenix, suffered what Manager Joe Torre described as a setback. The Dodgers hoped he could start a minor league rehab assignment this week, but now he has been pushed back again.

-- Seems there is an explanation for the decline of right-handed reliever Jeff Weaver after all, the Dodgers putting him on the disabled list with right knee tendinitis and calling Ramon Troncoso back up.

-- Of most concern, shortstop Rafael Furcal, possibly their most valuable player this season, was held out of the lineup because of a strained lower back. Furcal, who had lower-back surgery in 2008, was scheduled to have an MRI exam.

At a time when the Dodgers need to add a bat in Ramirez, his return has been pushed further back, and then they lost another in Furcal. And the Furcal news had to send a shiver through the organization.

Torre said Furcal felt something on a hard throw to first base Monday night in the fifth inning on a Yorvit Torrealba infield hit.

Furcal sat out 125 games in 2008 after injuring his lower back May 12. He battled back to join the Dodgers in the postseason.

"Hopefully, it just happened and he felt it on that play," Torre said. "Hopefully, it indicates something that’s not related. But we won’t know that until we get the MRI back."

Torre had expected Ramirez to join the team Tuesday, and then decide on where to begin a rehab assignment. But he said team trainer Stan Conte went to Phoenix on Tuesday to check on Ramirez's progress and came back reporting Ramirez was still a week off before playing in any rehab games.

"It’s frustrating," Torre said. "It’s disappointing because you want his bat in the lineup."

Ramirez, 38, is hitting .317 with eight home runs and 39 runs batted in, but has played in only 61 games. It’s his third time this season on the disabled list because of a right leg injury.

Weaver was 3-0 with a 1.13 earned-run average in June. He has a 9.22 ERA since. He finally confessed to the knee tendinitis after giving up five runs in two innings Monday.

"You don’t know what he deals with on a regular basis, but he’s probably pitched effectively with it too," Torre said. "But I think over time, it eventually gets to you."

Troncoso was 1-2 with a 5.15 ERA with the Dodgers before being sent to triple-A Albuquerque. It isn’t like he turned it around at Albuquerque, where he was 0-2 with a 6.91 ERA in 10 games.

"OK, inconsistent," Torre said. "We’ll see. Maybe back here he can find that thing he had earlier this year and last year."

-- Steve Dilbeck
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