Thames, signed to provide a power right-handed bat, was hitting .176 with two homers and four RBIs in 34 at-bats. He blew out the right thigh while grounding into a double play Monday night.
"He was healthy, or we thought he was," manager Don Mattingly said. "He felt something pop when he came out of the box. He had an MRI and Stan [Conte, trainer] called it a strain. He had an injection [platelet-rich plasma]. It's four to six weeks. He must have gotten it pretty good."
Gibbons, who slugged five homers in 75 at-bats last year after reviving his career, re-signed with the Dodgers to be the left-handed platoon-mate with Thames. But Gibbons, who had successful laser eye surgery several years ago, had unsuccessful off-season touch-up surgery and had vision problems ever since. And Jerry Sands has been called up to be the primary left fielder.
Meanwhile, Gibbons has been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque and, Mattingly said, reported in the last four or five days that he was ready to return.
"The timing kind of worked out," Mattingly said.
Gibbons said he saw five doctors during the ordeal to resolve blurring and bad depth perception, finally finding the correct contact lens prescription from Kansas City specialist Dr. Daniel Durrie at the recommendation of his agent, Bo McKinnis.
"My agent told me the guy walks on water, but a lot of people were telling me that," said Gibbons. "I finally got desperate."
Gibbons conceded that he thought his career might be over.
"It definitely crept in my mind that it wasn't getting better without more surgery," he said. "I'm just happy I'm here now."
Gibbons said further surgery would have been the next step. Now he believes he's healed.
"This is the last time I'm talking about it," he said. "I have no excuses with my eyes."
The disabling of Thames gives the Dodgers 10 disabling injuries this season. Curiously, six of the injuries involve players signed as free agents over the winter -- Thames, Gibbons, Jon Garland, Hector Gimenez, Dioner Navarro and Vicente Padilla.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.