LOS ANGELES -- The details of the surgical procedure on Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis' left leg seem to get more gruesome by the hour.
Before Sunday's 6-5 win over the Cardinals, manager Don Mattingly said he was told by team physician Neal ElAttrache that Ellis had a chance of losing his leg had he not undergone an urgent fasciotomy.
Ellis, who will be out at least six weeks, injured the leg when Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene slid into him during a takeout slide. The resulting fasciotomy, essentially an incision into the leg to relieve tension and pressure, released blood and fluid build-up in the leg.
"That was scary enough, that's serious enough," said Mattingly, who visited Ellis in the hospital after Saturday's game. "I didn't realize how bad that was. Doc said last night that if that thing goes another six or seven hours, he has a chance to lose a leg."
Because the injury caused so much swelling and pain, Ellis was unable to complete a full MRI, so other undiagnosed injuries remain a possibility. The contact occured a few inches below Ellis' left knee and the Dodgers are hopeful the knee was unaffected.
Mattingly said his basic message when he saw Ellis after Saturday's game was that he is glad he is OK.
"He had some medication in him so he was feeling all right," Mattingly said, laughing. "He seemed OK -- as good a spirit as you can be in. It just amazes me that you go from that play to something that could have been that serious if you don't pick it up.
"That's just amazing stuff. I'm so glad these guys were on it."
"These guys" Mattingly was referring to were the team trainers and doctors. Mattingly said he first sensed the severity of the injury by the look on the face of trainer Sue Falsone when she tested Ellis' leg Saturday afternoon -- a day after the injury.
In general, a fasciotomy is a rarity as a result of sports-related injuries. Typically, it is performed on those involved in car accidents.Ellis will remain hospitalized until Tuesday.
Dodgers rolling despite multiple injuries
LOS ANGELES -- Forty-one games into the 2012 season, the Dodgers hold the best record in the league, thriving despite half of their starting lineup being on the disabled list.
Manager Don Mattingly knows better than to get over-excited about the prospect of that trend continuing.
"We're still pretty early, even though it's not like it's the first two weeks or nothing," the manager said before Sunday's comeback victory over St. Louis. "There's still lots of baseball to be played. There's still 120 games or something. That's a lot of ball."
"Obviously, it's positive for us that we've been able to sustain and we've been able to survive."
They haven't just survived the injuries. They've thrived.
The Dodgers are 10-3 since May 7 -- the day Jerry Hairston Jr. was placed on the disabled list. A big chunk of the club's offense followed suit. In total, five Dodgers hitters went to the DL in the span of 12 days, including star center fielder Matt Kemp.
Mattingly made sure to note that every team goes through its share of injuries and his is no different. Still, the Dodgers manager said he is hopeful that the news surrounding his club will begin to shift toward players returning.
That happened on Sunday when it was announced Hairston's Monday-Tuesday rehab assignment will be at the club's extended spring training in Arizona. With a three-game series coming against the D-backs, Hairston will travel with the team. He is expected to return Wednesday from his left hamstring strain.
Third baseman Juan Uribe, who was placed on the DL on May 14, met with a hand specialist Sunday night to diagnose his left wrist injury."The report was good," Mattingly said. "He's going to move forward. I think that was the big thing, was to kind of let this thing calm down until the doc said he could move forward. He'll start doing some baseball activities."
Opportunities open up at second base
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers' second-base situation was about as stable as could be before veteran Mark Ellis went to the disabled list following surgery on his left leg.
Now, it couldn't be more uncertain.
Elian Herrera made his second straight start at second base Sunday night against St. Louis, but that won't become the routine.
Instead, the Dodgers' options at second will likely be dictated by matchups, trends and hot streaks, manager Don Mattingly said Sunday.
To replace Ellis, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, the Dodgers called up infielder Ivan DeJesus. He will likely see some time at second, as could Adam Kennedy, Justin Sellers and Jerry Hairston Jr. -- when he returns from the disabled list Wednesday.
Mattingly said he'd like to start his players based on opposing pitchers. But DeJesus and Herrera, who had three hits in Sunday's 6-5 victory, haven't spent much time in the big leagues and don't have the numbers to base those matchups on.
"It's hard to match up when Elian really hasn't been here, and Ivan really hasn't been here much, so there's not going to be much matchups," Mattingly said. "We'll just have to get a feel for how guys are swinging."
DeJesus arrived during Saturday night's game and said he's been told to expect time as a utility man at second, third and shortstop.
"I've just got to come here every day like I can work in every position," DeJesus said. "That's what they told me when they told me I was called up yesterday."
Mattingly has opted to give struggling shortstop Dee Gordon a bit of a break, and Sellers has assumed his job at least for the short term. That means Sellers likely won't see time at second base at least until Gordon's return.
Mattingly also said he plans to give Kennedy, as well as left fielder Bobby Abreu, some time off in the next week or so.
"We're going to have to bite the bullet in there and get those guys a day," Mattingly said. "They'll be out of the lineup, and that will dictate the lineup itself."
Ten days ago, the Dodgers signed veteran utility infielder Aaron Miles to a Minor League deal. But Mattingly said it's too soon to consider Miles an option, as he didn't have the luxury of Spring Training.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.