LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers placed outfielder Andre Ethier on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained left oblique (retroactive to June 28) and reinstated Mark Ellis from the disabled list.

Ethier felt a twinge in his strained left oblique hitting soft-toss Tuesday, leaving manager Don Mattingly was leaning toward putting Ethier on the disabled list Tuesday. The club was hoping he'd be playable before the All-Star break. He was injured on a checked swing Wednesday in San Francisco.

"We're getting closer to a decision we have to make," Mattingly said. "He swung in the cage. He's not taking batting practice on the field today, which pushes him back. Common sense tells us to make a good decision. He felt something on one swing today."

Ellis, on the DL after lower leg surgery, was finishing up a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday and was expected to be activated Thursday, when the Dodgers open a four-game series in Arizona.

"He scored from first last night, he's doing everything and everybody feels he's ready," said Mattingly, who hinted that the timetable for Ellis' return could be moved up a day.

Mattingly said reliever Javy Guerra, like Ellis finishing up a rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga after surgery, could be activated this week, but he wouldn't be rushed just because the club lost Todd Coffey from the bullpen Tuesday with an elbow injury.

Reliever Coffey needs Tommy John surgery

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Todd Coffey will undergo a second Tommy John operation and be lost for the rest of the season after suffering a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow Monday night.

Coffey was placed on the disabled list Tuesday and replaced on the roster by reliever Shawn Tolleson, who was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache said Coffey will have a "revision Tommy John," having had an earlier operation to reconstruct his elbow in 1999 while a Minor Leaguer with the Reds.

Coffey blew out the elbow while pitching in the eighth inning Monday night while allowing a triple to the Reds' Todd Frazier. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and trainer Sue Falsone came out to the mound to determine his health, and Coffey took four warm-up pitches, remaining in the game to finish the inning, even striking out two.

Why did Coffey stay in the game if he had a significant injury?

"That's a question we always ask," Mattingly said. "He said he was fine. He punches out two guys and you sit there not feeling like he's fine, but with the strikeouts you halfway believe him."

This is the second injury of the year for Coffey, who missed 13 games in April with right knee inflammation.

Coffey, whose weight has been listed at anywhere from 240 pounds to 280, has been known for his durability and sprint-in from the bullpen. He was signed as a free agent to a $1 million salary (with a 2013 option for $2.5 million or a $300,000 buyout) shortly before Spring Training started after the Dodgers realized that Blake Hawksworth needed elbow surgery.

The Dodgers now have four relievers on the disabled list that were expected to be in the Major League bullpen: Coffey, Hawksworth, Javy Guerra (expected back this week) and Matt Guerrier.

The 31-year-old Coffey was 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA in 23 relief appearances this season but had allowed just two runs over his last 11 games.

Technically, Tolleson was optioned to Albuquerque on Monday when Luis Cruz was promoted, but Tolleson never left Los Angeles. The club's 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year has a 7.71 ERA in six relief appearances with Los Angeles this season.

Turned ankle keeps Uribe out of Dodgers' lineup

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe was in Tuesday night's lineup, then he wasn't, but manager Don Mattingly said the condition of Uribe's turned right ankle hadn't improved from the time he injured it Monday night.

Luis Cruz, promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, started at third base for Uribe, who missed a month earlier this season with an arthritic left wrist.

"X-rays were negative and he's day to day," Mattingly said of Uribe. "I thought he'd be OK, but at that point he wasn't. He woke up sore."

If Uribe goes on the disabled list, it would be the 17th time a Dodgers player was disabled this year.