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Penny unlikely to return next week

Penny unlikely to return next week

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers don't expect to have Brad Penny in the starting rotation coming out of the All-Star break.

Penny, disabled since June 15 with bursa sac inflammation and tendinitis in his right shoulder, was unable to rehabilitate the injury without a cortisone injection, which he finally received on Monday night. He said he's likely to be shut down for the next 10 days and begin throwing when play resumes late next week.

Hiroki Kuroda had a cortisone injection on June 20, returned to the rotation on July 2 and nearly threw a perfect game on Monday night.

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"We hope we see the same results [for Penny] that Kuroda had, as far as his response to [the injection]," manager Joe Torre said. "It was a heck of a shot. Everybody will be lining up for one."

Penny opted for the shot after cutting short a simulated game on Saturday in San Francisco with continued discomfort. He went on the DL with a 5-9 record, 5.88 ERA and a seven-game losing streak.

Torre said that before Penny is activated, he will need to have a simulated game or Minor League rehab start to show he can throw 60-70 pitches without discomfort during and after.

The Dodgers have not set up their rotation for the after the break, which opens with a key three-game series in Arizona, followed by a three-game series in Colorado. Torre said a consideration will be given to each pitcher's history in each ballpark, which almost certainly means Derek Lowe will pitch in Arizona and not Colorado.

A rotation of Chad Billingsley, Kuroda, Lowe, Chan Ho Park and Eric Stults would be one possibility. The return of Clayton Kershaw from Double-A is another option, depending in part on Stults' Friday night start against the Marlins.

Torre said one consideration would be to give extra rest to Kuroda, because of his recent injury and the adjustment to throwing every five days in the Major Leagues compared to once a week in Japan.

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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