Loney returns to Dodgers' practice

Loney returns to Dodgers' practice

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers first baseman James Loney returned to the field on Monday for the first time since missing two days with a swollen left knee.

Loney played catch, took a few ground balls, and hit in the indoor batting cages. Manager Don Mattingly said if he comes out of that without incident, he could resume running on Tuesday and possibly play on Wednesday.

Loney complained of stiffness, but no pain, after playing on Friday night. An MRI revealed no structural damage in the knee, which was operated on 10 years ago. The knee hasn't caused Loney to miss any time since he signed with the Dodgers in 2002.

Filling in for Loney at first base in Monday's game against the Rockies was Hector Gimenez, a switch-hitting catcher in his 10th professional season, who hit .305 with 16 home runs for Double-A Altoona last year. Mattingly said Gimenez's bat was "interesting," and he wanted to test his defensive versatility. Gimenez holds a Major League roster spot.