LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla could be nearing a return to the mound, while shortstop Rafael Furcal's way back remains stalled. Padilla, on the disabled list on April 25 with a sore right elbow, could throw off a mound in the next couple of days, manager Joe Torre said on Monday. Padilla impressed pitching coach Rick Honeycutt with the life in his arm after consecutive days of throwing. Once Padilla has successfully gotten back on the hill, Torre said the team could then discuss a schedule for his return, which was previously targeted broadly for June.
"Once he starts throwing off a mound, we can put a timetable on it," Torre said. Furcal, on the DL since May 4, said on Monday his strained left hamstring still feels about 85 percent. He had hoped to be ready to go by last Friday, when he was eligible to come off the disabled list. "He's frustrated right now," Torre said. "I think he's going to have to be tested out here before we can decide to send him somewhere. The first-to-third [base] thing is what's got him. For someone who doesn't rely on his speed, this wouldn't be as important. Furcal needs to be 100 percent." The 32-year-old Padilla was 1-1 with a 6.65 ERA in four starts. Furcal was a spark at the top of the lineup with a .309 batting average, 16 runs scored, 6 RBIs and eight stolen bases. He had not homered this season.