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Greinke to miss eight weeks following surgery

Greinke to miss eight weeks following surgery

PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke will undergo surgery to have his left collarbone pieced back together Saturday, but the Dodgers on Friday already started picking up the pieces after learning their co-ace would be out for two months.

Greinke was put on the 15-day disabled list, reliever Shawn Tolleson was recalled at least temporarily and general manager Ned Colletti said left-handers Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly are the candidates to make Greinke's start Tuesday night against Carlos Quentin and the Padres.

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Drs. Neal ElAttrache and John Itamura will insert a rod in Greinke's left collarbone to stabilize and align the fracture at White Memorial Hospital on Saturday. The right-hander -- injured when he lowered his shoulder into an onrushing Quentin, who had been hit by a pitch -- is expected to return in eight weeks.

As for the fallout from the fracas, Quentin was handed an eight-game suspension on Friday, while Jerry Hairston was given a one-game suspension for his role. Both players are appealing the suspensions.

Colletti said he spoke Friday with Joe Garagiola, who dishes out suspensions for Major League Baseball, but wouldn't offer his opinion on what happened Thursday night.

"I'm going to keep my feelings to myself. That's the wisest thing for me to do," Colletti said.

A bit of good news was that Kemp was not mentioned in the the release from MLB detailing the disciplinary action. Kemp not only was one of three Dodgers ejected from Thursday night's brawl-tainted win (Greinke and Hairston the others), but he also had to be separated from a tense, face-to-face confrontation with Quentin long after the game in the service tunnel as both clubs exited the stadium.

Kemp questioned Quentin's charging of the mound that resulted in Greinke's injury after being hit with a 3-2 pitch in a one-run game. Quentin said he reacted to having a pitch thrown at his head. Teammates and friends intervened, and finally a police officer broke up the incident. Kemp wouldn't discuss it with reporters on Friday.

This was the third time in his career Quentin had been hit by a Greinke pitch, and both players agreed they had a "history."

Manager Don Mattingly said he received a call Friday from MLB executive (and former mentor) Joe Torre to give his side of the story, and said he was "a little bit" worried that the postgame confrontation might be as frowned upon as what happened on the field.

"I talked to Matt today," Mattingly said. "I asked what happened and how it happened. Basically, he said nothing happened. It sounds good, it's good media with them walking out at the same time."

By comparison to the damage done during the brawl, the postgame incident was tame. Although the players exchanged heated words, nobody was touched or injured.

Mattingly, in fact, insisted to reporters that the Dodgers don't intend to retaliate for Greinke's injury when the Dodgers and Padres meet again Monday night in Dodger Stadium on Jackie Robinson Night.

"We're going to play baseball," said Mattingly. "We're trying to win. We're not MMA fighters or anything like that. We're not going to start anything up."

But Mattingly said he expected the media to stoke the flames of controversy leading into the series.

"I'm sure you guys will keep it going," he said. "It sells papers, gets people watching the game. I'm sure it will get built. That's your job. My job is to make sure we're ready to play baseball. Time marches on."

Mattingly said the club knew when it left San Diego that Greinke's injury, which could change the complexion of the division race, was serious.

"He's hard to replace," said Mattingly. "Obviously, the attention he got this winter [and a $147 million contract] and what he's done in the past [including a Cy Young Award]. We're, in a sense, fortunate to have extra starters this spring. Right now that's a good thing."

One fewer, of course, with the trade last weekend of Aaron Harang. But they still have Capuano, a 12-game winner last year who has pitched well in two relief appearances. And they have Lilly, who threw a bullpen session Friday following a rehab start with Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday.

"You can never have enough. Sorry I was right," Colletti said. "That's what you have to do, you always have to be prepare for something you can't predict. I feel we're in a position where we can keep it together."

Lilly, coming off shoulder surgery, pitched better in Albuquerque than he did for Rancho Cucamonga six days earlier, with a more consistent fastball. Coming off last year's shoulder surgery, Lilly opened the season on the disabled list to rebuild arm strength for what a starter needs.

"I feel healthy and strong and I feel I can contribute at this level," said Lilly. "My velocity is where I feel I usually am, and I had a good bullpen [session] today."

Mattingly said Lilly is "moving in the right direction," but he gave a stronger endorsement when asked if Capuano wasn't a candidate to start.

"Why wouldn't he be?" Mattingly asked. "He was built up [in Spring Training] to be a starter. We're really trying to put a plan together to make us the best team."

Mattingly also explained an unusual meeting he held in the third-base coach's box with his position players just before play resumed after the brawl. He was accompanied by first-base umpire Paul Nauert.

"I just wanted them to know we had lost two guys -- one off the field, one off the bench -- and I asked to pull them off the field while Capuano was warming up [so he wouldn't be charged with a visit to the mound]. Paul asked if he could listen. I just wanted to make sure the guys stayed in the game. I didn't want them to get excited and do something stupid."

Colletti said he was proud of the way his players rallied in support of their fallen pitcher.

"Something like this can help you become cohesive, can help you become a better team," he said. "It was good to see our players stand up for each other and support each other. I thought it was unusual, but it's a sign of how much they respect each other and how much they care for each other."

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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