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Ready or not, Dodgers activate Casey Blake

May 27, 2011 |  5:26 pm

Getprev Sometimes you do what you want to do, sometimes what you have to do.

If the Dodgers had things firmly under control, then Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal would not have been rushed back from injuries. They would have been given more rehab time, more at-bats in the minors, more time to hone their skills.

Only things are not firmly within their control, not in the standings and not in terms of healthy, breathing players.

So ready or not, Friday the Dodgers activated Blake from the disabled list and optioned Russ Mitchell back to triple-A Albuquerque.

And much like Furcal, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly admitted they are rushing him back sooner than they would like.

"It feels a little similar," Mattingly said.

Blake, who had left elbow surgery for a staph infection, went two for 14 at Albuquerque with eight strikeouts and no runs batted in.

"Obviously we’d like for him to get a bit more playing time down there," Mattingly said. "But we also know it doesn’t count.

"We really didn’t have any choice."

The Dodgers need bodies. Hopefully, productive bodies, but that could be another story.

Furcal went one for 18 on the Dodgers’ six-game road trip.

Other injury updates:

-- Mattingly said Blake Hawksworth (groin) suffered a setback, was undergoing an MRI and would not be activated Friday, though he was eligible.

-- Andre Ethier (toe, back) and Rod Barajas (wrist) both returned to the Dodgers' lineup after missing three starts.

-- Vicente Padilla (forearm) was scheduled to throw in the bullpen Friday.

-- Juan Uribe (hip flexor) has increased his baseball activities and is taking extra batting practice.

-- Jonathan Broxton (elbow) has increased his amount of throwing; they have been holding him back on velocity.

-- Marcus Thames (quadriceps) is expected to start a rehab assignment this weekend.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Casey Blake #23 of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld. Credit: Getty Images