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Padilla, Furcal closer to Dodgers return

Padilla, Furcal closer to Dodgers return

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers right-hander Vicente Padilla was to make his first rehab appearance for Class A Inland Empire on Monday, and shortstop Rafael Furcal was preparing to start a rehab assignment later in the week.

Padilla has been out with a bulging disk in his neck since Aug. 16, while Furcal has been out with a lower back strain since Aug. 3. Furcal had been working out at the team's Spring Training complex in Arizona, before returning to Los Angeles on Sunday night.

"I'm getting better, I feel much better than before," said Furcal, who suffered a setback the last time he neared a rehab assignment.

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Manager Joe Torre said Padilla was set to start for the Dodgers next week in San Diego, where they visit Sept. 6-8,

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