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Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas seen returning early next week

July 1, 2011 |  6:38 pm

Rod Barajas
is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday but Manager Don Mattingly said Friday that the catcher's return might take a day or two longer.

Barajas sprained his right ankle chasing a wild pitch June 18 in a game against the Houston Astros.

Before Friday's game against the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Barajas squatted in front of the left-field fence and went through drills, including having balls thrown to him in the dirt that forced him to quickly drop to his knees.

The plan was "to see if I can do everything that I’ll probably need to do in a game," Barajas said before the drills. "We’re going to simulate that today."

If the ankle responds well, Barajas said he then hoped to play one or two rehabilitation games, perhaps with single-A Rancho Cucamonga, over the weekend and then be activated.

But Mattingly said head trainer Stan Conte"seemed to be a little bit waffling" as to whether Barajas would be ready to return Monday. "Maybe we’re a day off or two days off," Mattingly said, adding that Conte "didn’t know if [Barajas] was quite there yet.”

Barajas -- who was batting .220 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs when he was hurt -- said "there's still some soreness" in the ankle and "it’s still not the most comfortable thing to walk on first thing in the morning. But it’s gotten better, a lot better."

--Jim Peltz

Photo: Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas after suffering a sprained right ankle June 18 against the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US Presswire