VERO BEACH, Fla. -- One of the few marquee Dodgers originally scheduled to travel to China, third baseman Nomar Garciaparra instead sat at his locker on Tuesday morning, a wrap around his right wrist and a passport nowhere in sight.
"I wanted to go," he said, a day after the Dodgers revealed that he wouldn't. "I was looking forward to it, but things happen. When something like this happens that you can't avoid, you realize that the more important thing is making sure you're healthy."
If not for an errant pitch that struck his wrist last week, Garciaparra would have spent Tuesday afternoon on a plane headed halfway around the world. But the wrist remained swelled, and Garciaparra remained grounded.
The problem, he said, stemmed from insufficient blood flow to the wrist, which in turn fostered swelling. Garciaparra is done with medical tests for now -- he passed them all -- and took indoor batting practice on Tuesday.
First baseman Mark Sweeney also dropped off the travel roster on Monday with a sore left knee. He and Garciaparra were replaced by Minor Leaguers Kevin Howard and Xavier Paul, further reducing the celebrity of the China-bound team. Of those projected to be in the team's regular lineup, only Andruw Jones and Matt Kemp will make the trip.
"I think that was pretty much our decision, not his," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Garciaparra. "If this thing for some reason doesn't get better, then you'd rather keep him here for further testing. It makes sense."
Garciaparra didn't offer a timetable for his return.
"I see improvement every day, so that's one of the things we're looking for," Garciaparra said. "We want to make sure it's improving every day, and it is. It hasn't stalled in healing and it hasn't gone backwards. We're moving forward, so that's a good sign."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.