PHOENIX -- Fans get their first look at new second baseman John Forsythe on Saturday when the Dodgers open Cactus League play against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.Forsythe, the Dodgers' most significant acquisition of the offseason, said he's ready to go after receiving a Synvisc injection in his left
PHOENIX -- Fans get their first look at new second baseman John Forsythe on Saturday when the Dodgers open Cactus League play against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.
Forsythe, the Dodgers' most significant acquisition of the offseason, said he's ready to go after receiving a Synvisc injection in his left knee earlier in the week. The injection, similar to what Justin Turner said he has received the last three years, supplements the fluid in arthritic joints for added cushion and lubrication, providing up to six months of pain relief.
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Forsythe is known to play hard and has the medical file to prove it. Last year he suffered a hairline fracture of his left shoulder blade when hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch. In 2013, he had right foot plantar fasciitis, and in 2012 he had surgery for a fractured sesamoid in his left foot. He also has had knee surgery (in 2011) and a broken hand (2010). While at the University of Arkansas, he broke the sesamoid in his right foot.
"The shot itself is a lubricating shot for the knee, and they just want to stay ahead of it," said Forsythe. "At times in the season, it gets inflamed. It's a long time ago I had surgery on the knee. It just kind of comes back, gets aggravated with everyday play, but never kept me out of the lineup. All I know is I'm healthy."
Turner, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee after the 2015 season, is a big advocate of the injections, not unlike scheduled maintenance for a car.
"My cartilage is worn down, and when it starts to go and you get bone-on-bone rubbing, you get irritation and this gel helps," said Turner. "This year I did both of my knees at the same time; that's a first. It took two days to work its way through. I'll probably do it again at the All-Star break and maybe again in September.
"It just lubes up the joints and helps everything move around. It definitely feels better. The biggest tell is in the morning and it's easy to get up and walk around and not have the first few tough steps. More guys probably get them than let on. I'm an advocate of it. It helps me feel good, and I'll keep doing it."
The only position player not healthy for the spring opener is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who is still nursing right elbow tendinitis. Scott Van Slyke and non-roster invitee Ike Davis have been sharing first-base duties on the main field with Gonzalez out. Manager Dave Roberts said Chase Utley won't play first in the game.
Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers and pitch only one inning, by his choice, with the Cactus schedule extended because of the World Baseball Classic. He will be followed to the mound by Alex Wood, and other pitchers likely to see action are Josh Ravin, Jacob Rhame and Madison Younginer.
The Dodgers will broadcast the game on SportsNet LA, 570 AM and KTNQ 1020 (Spanish) with a 12:05 p.m. PT first pitch. Watch it on MLB.TV.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.