The right fielder is listed as day to day and likely will avoid a trip to the disabled list.
"Yesterday I assumed we were going to be in a DL situation," an optimistic manager Don Mattingly said. "But really the docs looked at it and didn't see any swelling, so it really couldn't be any better."
Mattingly, who originally prepared for Ethier to be out about 20 games, added the team can't afford day to day to mean sitting around waiting for 10 days, and if it got to that point then the team would re-evaluate.
Ethier strained his oblique muscle on a checked swing in the first inning of Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Giants in San Francisco. Ethier, who signed an $85 million extension earlier this month, is hitting .291 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs.
Ethier, who was hopeful he could be back in a couple days Wednesday night, didn't hit on Thursday. Test results showed no reason for a platelet-rich plasma injection, and Mattingly said he's not sure what the approach is going to be in the next few days. However, he remained upbeat and said the news was as good as it could be.