Haeger trying to recover from turf toe

Haeger trying to recover from turf toe

LOS ANGELES -- Once his turf toe has healed, Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger feels he won't need another rehab start before being ready to pitch again in the big leagues.

"I don't think there's any need for that," he said Monday.

Manager Joe Torre said the team hadn't decided how it will approach Haeger's schedule.

Haeger, 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA in four starts for Class A Inland Empire since going on the disabled list on May 9, is no longer bothered by the heel injury that took him out of Major League action in the first place. He has turf toe, a more common injury in football, in his right foot after making a pickoff move in his second-most recent start, on May 24. Haeger said he isn't bothered when pitching, but does feel the toe when running.

"He does admit it would affect his fielding and covering first, and that's enough of a reason to shut him down," Torre said. "It certainly has to get better than it is right now."

Haeger said he benefited from Class A pitching coach and former big league knuckleballer Charlie Hough's tutelage. Haeger's Major League numbers have not been pretty: He's 0-4 with an 8.49 ERA in seven games, five starts. But he said he's not worried about whether another poor stint in the Majors could result in his release. Haeger is out of options.

"I haven't really thought about it, nor will I, really," Haeger said.