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Hanley prepared to play through discomfort

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez said on Sunday night that he won't rule out a return to the lineup sooner than later, maybe as soon as Monday.

"Possibly," Ramirez said after the Dodgers' 8-2 win, saying he had no stiffness or discomfort in his jammed right shoulder hours after being put through the most strenuous workout since he sustained the injury a week earlier falling into the stands at Wrigley Field. "It's good right now."

Before Sunday's game, Ramirez slugged home runs in batting practice and threw repeatedly from shortstop to first base, offering a more cautionary opinion of his recovery.

"I still feel it a little bit," said Ramirez. "They want me to get it 100 percent. I don't want to aggravate it."

Ramirez is prepared to play with some discomfort the rest of the season if need be, as he still "feels it" when batting because of his long extension. He threw relatively firmly, not firing or lobbing.

"I hope it's not something I have to deal with the rest of the season," he said. "If it is, I've done it before, a couple of times this season. Those are things you can't control.

"I just worry if I keep feeling it every time I throw the ball. I don't know. If I have to play like that, I'll play."

This is Ramirez's third significant injury this year, following a torn thumb ligament that required surgery and a strained hamstring. He said it's a little easier watching from the bench when the team wins; the Dodgers have gone 5-1 since he sustained this latest injury. He struck out pinch-hitting on Friday night in his only appearance during that stretch.

"We keep winning, and it makes it an easy decision," he said. "The game we lost in St. Louis worried me. After that we won four in a row doing what we've been doing all year, picking each other up."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for
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