Rivera could return for series in Philadelphia

Rivera could return for series in Philadelphia

DENVER -- As the Dodgers continue to deal with injuries that have landed half of their starting position players on the disabled list, one key player is very close to returning.

Juan Rivera was back with the club in Colorado on Friday for reevaluation following four rehab starts as he works back from a left hamstring strain that put him on the DL on May 9. He will not be activated in Colorado, but may well return to the 25-man roster when the team goes to Philadelphia for a four-game set starting Monday.

"He's doing really well, and he feels good," manager Don Mattingly said. "I'm hearing sometime in Philly. We're going to do more testing today with him and see where's he's at -- he's been playing the last couple days. Then we'll make a decision about whether to play him one more game [in the Minors] or if we feel like he's ready to go. We'll be patient."

Rivera played his second of two games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night, logging four innings in left field and three at first base. He went 1-for-4 with a home run, and he has hit .250 (3-for-12) in his four rehab starts.

"He's doing great," head athletic trainer Sue Falsone said. "We're going to put him through more agility stuff. It's a matter of getting him baseball ready. It's really hard to mimic game activity. Even rehab assignments don't mimic their big league game activity. It's just not the same intensity."

Even if Rivera feels ready to play in Colorado, Falsone was reluctant to give him the green light.

"Not at all likely here," she said of his prospect for reinstatement during the series with the Rockies. "You've got two day games here, and the altitude. There are a lot of variables here, so we'll either keep him here and work out a couple days, or talk to Donny and [see about another rehab game]."