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Manny hits Class A; Furcal still shelved

Manny hits Class A; Furcal still shelved

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez began his rehab assignment at Class A Inland Empire on Wednesday, while Rafael Furcal's back pain worsened.

The Dodgers don't have a timetable for Ramirez to return from his calf injury, but if all goes well, a week of rehab games would seem plenty. For Furcal, who's on the disabled list with a lower back injury, the next step is a bone scan on Thursday.

"Today it's not good," Furcal said. "It's frustrating for me. I want to get healthy to play. I don't have control. If I could find something to make me feel better and play, I'd do it. I'm trying the best I can."

The Dodgers' shortstop was pumped up to begin a rehab assignment earlier this week, and the team tried to back him off it to make sure everything was all right, and it wasn't. He woke up tightness on Tuesday after the team flew back from Atlanta, and it was worse on Wednesday.

Furcal met with his back surgeon, Robert Watkins Jr., who instructed the team to sit tight.

"He recommended that we slow down a little bit and see who he does the next coupled days," team trainer Stan Conte said. "This is not the same kind of issue that he had before with pain down his legs, he doesn't have any of that. But, obviously, this is a little bit of a setback at this point."

Furcal has already received an MRI exam, and it was determined he did not have a disc injury.

Meanwhile, reliever Jeff Weaver threw a two-inning simulated game off the Dodger Stadium mound on Wednesday as he works back from tendinitis in his left knee. He's been out since Aug. 3, and the team hasn't decided if he'll need a rehab assignment yet.

"Let's see how he feels tomorrow, and when the time comes, we'll see," Joe Torre said. "At this point in time, he's not going to be back in a week."

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