Turner to be held out of early Cactus League schedule

Third baseman recovering from knee surgery, to miss at least first week of games

February 29th, 2016

PHOENIX -- Justin Turner won't play in the first week of Cactus League games, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said on Monday, as the club takes precautions with the third baseman's recovering left knee.

Turner, who underwent microfracture surgery in November, was held out of Monday's workout in a scheduled light day and will run the bases on Tuesday. Baserunning is the biggest concern coming off the microfracture procedure, in which holes are drilled into bone to promote the growth of cartilage-like replacement material.

Roberts said second basemen Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick would see playing time at third base while Turner is eased back into action. Alex Guerrero is also considered a third baseman.

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Utley was re-signed in December for $7 million to play second base and back up third. Two months later, the club surprisingly re-signed Kendrick and said he was willing to also play third, a sign that there was some trepidation about Turner's recovery.

Nonetheless, Roberts said Turner has not had any setbacks and is still on track to be ready for Opening Day.

"Turner is doing well," said Roberts. "As far as our main concern, it's his health and recovery, and every day he gets better. As far as at-bats, we can get those on the [Minor League] side. Taking grounders and lateral movement, he's doing that every day. In a game? I'm pretty certain you won't see him in a game for a week. At that point in time, we'll keep an eye on it."

In other medical news, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez returned to the practice field after missing Sunday with neck stiffness from a chronic bulging disk. Roberts said Gonzalez would start Friday, if not on Thursday