Furcal nearing return to Dodgers' lineup

Furcal nearing return to Dodgers' lineup

LOS ANGELES -- Rafael Furcal's strained left hamstring could be 100 percent by this weekend, Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Thursday with an eye on a return for late next week.

"Even though he doesn't like attention, he's a big ingredient, and in saying that, Jamey Carroll's done a great job," Torre said. "Raffy's got some extraordinary ability, leadership ability, too. He's still in the dugout, but he's reluctuant to say anything because he's on the disabled list."

If Furcal keeps progressing, he could play in rehab games with Triple-A Albuquerque at Colorado Springs on Tuesday and Wednesday then rejoin the team before opening a series with the Padres in San Diego on Friday. But before he is cleared to play, he has to be able to run and perform baseball activities at 100 percent.

"He continues to do well and progress," director of medical services Stan Conte said. "The key is to get him over this 85 percent running level, and we'll do that in the next couple of days, if he's able."