Ethier felt a twinge in his strained left oblique hitting soft-toss Tuesday, leaving manager Don Mattingly was leaning toward putting Ethier on the disabled list Tuesday. The club was hoping he'd be playable before the All-Star break. He was injured on a checked swing Wednesday in San Francisco.
"We're getting closer to a decision we have to make," Mattingly said. "He swung in the cage. He's not taking batting practice on the field today, which pushes him back. Common sense tells us to make a good decision. He felt something on one swing today."
Ellis, on the DL after lower leg surgery, was finishing up a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday and was expected to be activated Thursday, when the Dodgers open a four-game series in Arizona.
"He scored from first last night, he's doing everything and everybody feels he's ready," said Mattingly, who hinted that the timetable for Ellis' return could be moved up a day.
Mattingly said reliever Javy Guerra, like Ellis finishing up a rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga after surgery, could be activated this week, but he wouldn't be rushed just because the club lost Todd Coffey from the bullpen Tuesday with an elbow injury.