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Hanley getting closer to rehab assignment

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LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez is inching closer to starting a Minor League rehab assignment, but the Dodgers are being extra cautious with the shortstop's strained left hamstring.

Ramirez ran curves, took batting practice and fielded ground balls before Friday's game against the Cardinals. He said he's only running at 85 percent and will test his hamstring while running the bases on Saturday.

Ramirez said he will appear in rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga "soon."

The Dodgers don't want to rush Ramirez back because of what happened to Matt Kemp last season, when the outfielder returned from a hamstring injury only to go back on the disabled list after two days.

"They know what's happened before to guys that try to come back early and it didn't work," Ramirez said. "[Kemp] told me you have to be 100 percent and don't try to come back early. By the time I get back, I want to make it all the way to the end of the season."

Ramirez returned from a torn ligament in his right thumb sooner than expected in April, but played just four games before straining his hamstring running the bases in San Francisco on May 3.

"It [stinks]," Ramirez said. "It's almost June and I've only played four games. That's never happened in my career. They support me and I'm trying everything I can to stay healthy. It just happens. I've got to stay mentally strong, keep working and come back and help this team in some ballgames."

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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