Schmidt injures calf in rehab start

Schmidt injures calf in rehab start

NEW YORK -- The Dodgers had some good news on injured shortstop Rafael Furcal and interesting news on injured pitcher Jason Schmidt.

Furcal, on the disabled list since May 13 -- retroactive to May 6 -- with a lingering lower back problem, resumed hitting Sunday at Dodger Stadium. Manager Joe Torre said Furcal's progress will be evaluated when the Dodgers return home Monday night, and the shortstop would need to go on a Minor League rehab assignment, but no date is even being speculated.

Meanwhile, Schmidt's repaired shoulder came out of his fourth rehab start fine Sunday, but the calf that was struck with a comebacker Saturday night is sore, and there's no telling what that might mean.

One possibility, however, is a chance that the new injury could allow the Dodgers to interrupt, suspend and possibly extend Schmidt's 30-day Minor League rehabilitation assignment that otherwise expires June 10.

The collective bargaining agreement between players and management limits rehab time to prevent a club from indefinitely exiling or stashing a player. But the prohibition is working against the recovery from an operation as serious as Schmidt's, because Torre concedes Schmidt will not have sufficient arm strength and pitch count to be activated by June 10.

A new injury, however, would be treated as just that, probably allowing Schmidt to make additional Minor League starts. Schmidt is expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday or Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. He made 65 pitches in 3 2/3 innings Saturday night, throwing consistently in the low-90s.

"We might have to go into simulation city," said Torre. "Rehab is all well and good, but if someone is not ready, he shouldn't be made to be ready. We're not trying to get away with anything. The guy had major surgery last year."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.