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Crawford making return from disabled list

Outfielder back from oblique injury, to play backup role

ATLANTA -- The Dodgers activated Carl Crawford on Tuesday after a long recovery from a right oblique injury that put him on the 60-day disabled list and ended with an extended rehab stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

To make room on the 25- and 40-man rosters, right-hander Brandon Beachy was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City and designated right-hander Preston Guilmet, who was with Oklahoma City, for assignment.

"It's wonderful to be back," Crawford said Monday. "It was a rough journey to get back. Was out for a while and then the rehab was taking a long time, but I finally got back to this point, and I'm happy about that."

Crawford began his rehab assignment on June 30 and played two games with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga before eight more games with Oklahoma City. He went 12-for-34 (.353) with two doubles, two triples and a home run in the 10 games.

"I had to wait a while before I could do things, and that's why it took so long," Crawford said. "Tearing the muscle off the bone, you can't really do anything as far as running, throwing. You realize how much you use that part of your body when that happens."

Upon being activated, Crawford will have to work his way back to regular playing time, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who said Andre Ethier has earned the everyday role this season.

"I talked with Carl. At this point, he's going to mix and match in," Mattingly said. "I don't plan on doing anything different with Andre, he's kind of earned his way this year.

"And [I was] just upfront with Carl about it, and I think he seemed to understand really that Andre was the guy last year that got caught out. And he just told me he'd keep working and be ready to go."

Ethier entered Monday hitting .287 with an .851 OPS and 10 home runs this season. Crawford, whose last Major League appearance was April 27, has a .245 average and .668 OPS in 15 games. 

Crawford said he understands what his role is going to be, especially given how well the outfielders have played this season.

"Thing is the team's been playing great, so I know it's going to be hard to get me in there," he said. "I'm pretty sure [Mattingly] will work me in whenever he can; pinch-hit, spot starts, you know, try to get me going and go from there.

"It's tough, all the guys have been playing good and you don't want to mess that up. At the same time I definitely want to play, so we'll just have to see how it goes."

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for
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