Kuo's return could be delayed

Kuo's return could be delayed

MIAMI -- Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo's anticipated Friday return from the disabled list is in doubt after he retired only one of five batters in a Class A rehab assignment Tuesday night.

"He's been OK. Yesterday was a little rough," manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll see if he's ready Friday or [if] he needs another rehab start."

Kuo, placed on the DL two weeks ago with a sore back that led to a relapse of the yips, was pitching on back-to-back nights for the first time this year after having allowed a run in one inning Monday night. In Tuesday night's game, he was charged with two runs on four hits with one strikeout.

Mattingly said Kuo's results were not the decisive factor. He allowed three singles to the outfield, a bunt single and struck out the last batter he faced.

"You can't go by results," said Mattingly. "Really, it's how he feels. If he throws the ball the way he wants, he's ready. We need him to feel like he's ready, more than anything else."

Kuo is eligible to be activated Friday, when the Dodgers open a homestand against the Padres. With closer Jonathan Broxton struggling and Vicente Padilla having made only two appearances since returning from arm surgery, the club was hoping the return of Kuo would give Mattingly more late-inning options out of the bullpen.