M. Ellis short of full strength as Kershaw nears return

M. Ellis short of full strength as Kershaw nears return

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have a decision looming on Mark Ellis and his strained right quad.

The second baseman has not played since he came up lame running to first base in the fifth inning Friday against the Brewers. Ellis said Wednesday that he was feeling better and was able to field, throw, hit and move laterally with no issue. But he was still unable to run at full speed.

The Dodgers need to open a roster spot for Clayton Kershaw to return from the bereavement list and make his scheduled start Friday at San Francisco.

Does Ellis believe he will be healthy enough to play Friday?

"We'll see; I won't know until Friday," Ellis said before Wednesday's game against the Rockies. "If it progresses every day like it has, I'd be optimistic. But it's early in the season still, so we'll see."

If Ellis is unavailable again Friday, the Dodgers would most likely place the veteran on the disabled list.

The Dodgers are also expecting Chris Capuano to return from the disabled list to start during a three-game series against the D-backs next Monday through Wednesday.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was been pleased with the production from Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston and Skip Schumaker at second base with Ellis sidelined. Justin Sellers can also play second, in addition to shortstop and third base. So the Dodgers are unlikely to add another infielder to the mix.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.