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Dodgers' Wood back on hill after ankle X-rays

Top prospect Buehler also returns to action following medical testing
MLB.com @kengurnick

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood threw off a mound Friday after having X-rays taken of a slight ankle sprain, and rookie Walker Buehler returned to action after undergoing medical tests a day earlier.

Wood, injured Thursday warming up for a scheduled bullpen session, said he was also able to long toss and plans to throw the bullpen session Saturday.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood threw off a mound Friday after having X-rays taken of a slight ankle sprain, and rookie Walker Buehler returned to action after undergoing medical tests a day earlier.

Wood, injured Thursday warming up for a scheduled bullpen session, said he was also able to long toss and plans to throw the bullpen session Saturday.

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"Everything fine. Just a little inflammation," Wood said. "I could have thrown my bullpen today. I tested the landing off the mound, just to make sure everything was fine. Just back it up to tomorrow after we see how I feel in the morning. Even was running around doing [pitchers fielding practice]."

Wood said the ankle injury is unrelated to a bad bruise in roughly the same area that he pitched through after being traded to the Dodgers in 2015.

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Wood is coming off an All-Star season, even though he broke camp last year in the bullpen.

Buehler, who is the top prospect in the organization, is expected to be a factor at some point in the big league season after spending a September callup in the Dodgers' bullpen.

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Yimi ready to compete

Reliever Yimi Garcia said he has no apprehension competing for a bullpen job after missing most of 2016 with elbow issues that were resolved by Tommy John surgery, but cost him the entire 2017 season.

"Everything feels 100 percent," said Garcia, whose only test of the arm last year was during October at instructional league. He played catch at the Dodgers' Dominican Republic academy during the winter and resumed bullpen sessions this week.

"Instructional league was important. Can you imagine going almost two years without seeing live batters?" Garcia said. "But everything went well and I'm always positive and moving forward."

He said it was hard watching last year's magical season unfold without his participation. He was injured in a 2016 game at Double-A and, at the time, he never envisioned he would be sidelined as long as he was.

Garcia, 27, said he's ready to compete for a Major League job and has no concerns about rustiness.

"I feel I can do it now," he said. "I feel healthy and I'm ready to compete."

Spring side hustle

Dodgers broadcaster Orel Hershiser is spending his second Spring Training moonlighting as a guest pitching instructor and on Friday his first project was Ross Stripling, who is being stretched out as a starter this camp after spending last year in the Dodgers' bullpen.

Hershiser is part of succession of former Cy Young winners who have served as Spring Training instructors in recent years. They include Eric Gagne, Greg Maddux and Sandy Koufax.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Yimi Garcia, Alex Wood