Padilla on track for June 18 return

Padilla on track for June 18 return

LOS ANGELES -- Injured Opening Day starter Vicente Padilla said he's on track for a return to the Dodgers' rotation on June 18, the opener of the Interleague series in Boston against the Red Sox.

Padilla, on the disabled list since April 23 with an inflamed radial nerve, made his first Minor League rehab start on Thursday night for Class A Inland Empire and threw three scoreless innings, striking out five while allowing only a single to the first batter.

The day after making 38 pitches, he said his arm felt fine with no recurring discomfort in the area that sent him to the sidelines.

"Everything is good," Padilla said. "No pain. I just want to feel secure when I get back to the big leagues."

Padilla will likely make one more rehab start for Inland Empire on Tuesday, then one for Triple-A Albuquerque five days later. With no setbacks, that would set him up to start in Boston.

Also, George Sherrill, who followed Padilla with two strikeouts and a perfect inning on Thursday night, will move on for two more appearances with Triple-A Albuquerque.

Meanwhile, rookie Carlos Monasterios was able to play catch with no ill effects from the finger blister that cut short his Wednesday start after five scoreless innings. He is scheduled to throw his between-starts bullpen session on Saturday. Manager Joe Torre said Monasterios is expected to make his next scheduled start on Monday.