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Schmidt suffers setback in rehab

Schmidt suffers setback in rehab

DETROIT -- In the wake of shortstop Rafael Furcal's setback from a disk problem in his lower back, Jason Schmidt apparently has suffered a setback, too.

Manager Joe Torre said Schmidt's Minor League rehabilitation assignment will not be resumed next week as previously announced, and that trainer Stan Conte told him the club will continue to go slow with Schmidt, who underwent career-threatening shoulder surgery 51 weeks ago.

"Until he's comfortable, we won't start the clock," said Torre. "He came in [from his last Minor League start] uncomfortable."

Schmidt experienced renewed soreness and stiffness in the shoulder. His recovery is complicated some by the 30-day limit for rehab assignments set forth in the collective bargaining agreement, because he likely will need longer than one month to build arm strength to start, assuming he's ever pain-free.

As for Furcal, Torre still believes he could return in three weeks, but could not explain how that would be possible with doctors having banned Furcal from all baseball activities while he continues to strengthen his lower back muscles.

"I haven't heard anything more than three weeks," said Torre.

The Dodgers aren't talking about surgery for Furcal, who is in his free agent season, but that often is the course of action when core strengthening exercises and injections don't resolve bulging disk issues. Furcal missed the last 12 games of the 2007 season with the same injury and thought a winter strengthening program would prevent a recurrence.

Torre said Nomar Garciaparra could begin a rehab stint at Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday. Garciaparra is eligible to return from calf muscle problems June 25.

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

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