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Are Juan Uribe and Jonathan Broxton done?

August 30, 2011 |  6:45 am

Photo: Jonathon Broxton, left, Juan Uribe. Credit: Christina House / Los AngelesTimes.  Then they vanished into the great unknown, never to be seen again. The end.

Injured players can tend to do that in September, particularly on teams that aren't exactly in the thick of the pennant race. They just sort of never come back.

Are Juan Uribe and Jonathan Broxton about to go all Rome's Ninth Legion on us and fade into the ether, their final season left an unsolved mystery?

Uribe has been out since July 24 with what was originally diagnosed as a strained left hip flexor. When the team thought he was getting close to a return, he tried running and still complained of pain.

Then officials said the hip had healed, but he had a strain of some sort lower than the hip. Team trainer Stan Conte on Monday called it a sports hernia. That's what medical people call injuries when they don't know what in the hell else to call them. They gave him a shot of cortisone and hoped he'd feel better. Still hoping.

Manager Don Mattingly said if Uribe doesn't respond to the more conservative approach, surgery is an option. Not one anyone prefers, but at some point, what are you going to do?

"Even in the worst-case scenario, we're confident he'll be ready for spring training," Conte said.

Uribe, of course, is in the first season of a three-year, $21-million contract, so he'll be back.  Also, he's hitting .204 with a .293 slugging percentage.

Broxton, however, can become a free agent at the end of the season. He hasn’t been seen on a mound since May 3, or when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. He saved seven mostly shaky games early, sporting a 5.68 ERA and allowing 15 hits and nine walks in 12 2/3 innings. He only begrudgingly admitted his elbow was hurting.

He remains out with a bruised elbow. Broxton thought he was close to returning once before, started to rehab and reinjured the elbow. Now he and the Dodgers are taking it more slowly -– he's still throwing long toss -- though still hopeful he can get back on the mound next month.

"I know if we're going to get the chance to see him, it's going to be late," Mattingly said. "We're willing to see what it looks like, to get him out there for his own mental ... to see how he feels."

It would benefit Broxton's confidence, not to mention his free-agent options, if he can get out on the mound the last couple of weeks and show he's returned to form.

Broxton made $7 million this season, so he's not going to get close to that wherever he ends up next season.

Best guess on Uribe: He's done for the season. On Broxton: He'll try to pitch again the last week or two, but is likely done as a Dodger. Into the ether.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Jonathon Broxton, left, and Juan Uribe. Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times

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