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McDonald, Elbert unavailable to pitch in

McDonald, Elbert unavailable to pitch in

BOSTON -- The Dodgers' latest pitching injury -- a blister and cracked fingernail that put Carlos Monasterios on the 15-day disabled list Saturday -- would have created a good opportunity for James McDonald or Scott Elbert to ride to the rescue.

But McDonald is slowly recovering from a pulled hamstring suffered May 27 and Elbert is home, attending to a "personal family matter," according to the team. The matter has not been specified. Elbert's second child was born in April.

Assistant general manager DeJon Watson said Saturday he spoke to Elbert last week and plans to again Sunday. Watson apparently is the only Dodgers official to have spoken with Elbert, who was given permission to leave Triple-A Albuquerque June 10 to go home. Watson said there is no time frame for Elbert's return, but he expected him back some time this season.

"We want the player to be in the best frame of mind and we're doing everything possible to be supportive," said Watson.

Manager Joe Torre said he would leave a message for Elbert and implied that the former first-round pick's problem is at least in part emotional. Elbert had a one-game callup at the end of May, but walked three left-handed batters in Colorado and was sent back down.

"The kid needs time away," Torre said. "We've got to continue to stay in touch, let him know how important he is. I tell him every time I send him out, but that's now what you want to hear. He's dealing with the emotion and the reality of pitching. It's sad right now. He has Major League stuff and Major League heart for me. In '08, he was big-time for me. We added him to the League Championship Series roster last year.

"I'm not sure what the course of action is. I'm guessing. Nobody has been definitive about the thing other than the fact he left the club. Kenny [Howell, bullpen coach[ has texted him, but I don't think he's talked to him. We're all guessing from the things we're hearing. I think [the family] is included. I'm sure he hasn't done well professionally and it sort of magnifies everything else. This game is very tough when you're not totally focused."

Meanwhile, Watson said McDonald is throwing at about 85 percent. He is recovering at the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex in Arizona and will start Tuesday in the Arizona Rookie League as part of his rehab.

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