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Hanley's return depends on response to fielding

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will have a better indication on Hanley Ramirez and his progression from a sore right shoulder on Sunday, when the shortstop plans to throw and field ground balls.

Ramirez has been out of the starting lineup for six straight games since injuring his shoulder chasing a popup into the stands at Wrigley Field last Sunday. He was able to pinch-hit Friday night and played catch before the game, but has yet to take grounders. The Dodgers did not work out on the field Friday or Saturday.

"I'm not sure how much closer he is," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday. "We'll probably find out tomorrow, get back out on the field and he'll be able to throw and take ground balls."

Mattingly said Ramirez felt "a little bit" of discomfort in his shoulder after playing catch Friday but remains confident the shortstop is not headed to the disabled list for a third time this season.

"We'll be careful with him," the manager said. "I wouldn't have used him if I thought this was a DL situation. I don't think it is."

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