LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal was not at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Instead, he rested at home after receiving a cortisone shot and an MRI for his strained back in the morning.
The results of the MRI showed no changes from the first MRI the Dodgers shortstop received when he was initially hurt, after an awkward twist in the field on Aug. 2. The cortisone shot, applied to a specific part of the spine, also went well.
"It's very nice that you have the right spot and the injection went where you wanted," team trainer Stan Conte said.
Before the cortisone is injected, a numbing agent is administered, and if the numbing agent is in the appropriate spot, the pain disappears immediately. It takes several days for the cortisone to take effect. In Furcal's case, the shot appeared to find the right location: He was at home resting and feeling great, said Conte, who texted him.
If all continues to go well, Furcal is to travel to Arizona by Monday to continue his rehab at the Dodgers' Spring Training complex. He would not immediately resume baseball activities.
Furcal's pain is in the same area that required disk surgery in 2008 but is not because of the same problem.
"I don't think anyone's surprised that occasionally he's going to have some back pain for two reasons," Conte said. "One, he had surgery on his back; two, he plays a position that requires him to do a lot of different things, and his volume is huge. He's a leadoff hitter, he steals bases and he plays shortstop."