Rivera ready to return to action

Rivera ready to return to action

DENVER -- Juan Rivera was out of the Dodgers' lineup for a fifth consecutive game Monday night, but manager Don Mattingly said Rivera is almost completely healed from a slight hamstring strain.

Rivera was injured running out an infield single on Tuesday night.

"He's better and Sue [Falsone, trainer] said we can use him any way we want tonight," said Mattingly. "We've got more of the guy tonight, but we'll just be cautious. We'll see tomorrow, he could be full go."

A likely return date could be Wednesday, as the Rockies will pitch left-hander Drew Pomeranz, and Rivera could start at first base for James Loney. Coors Field's spacious left field might be a tough assignment for an outfielder returning from a hamstring injury.

Regardless of when he returns, Mattingly said Rivera's swing could be challenged from a week away from game-speed pitching.

"Any time you miss extended days, you don't know how he'll swing the bat when he comes back," said Mattingly. "Especially early in the season, it seems it's harder. But we'll see."