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05/29/08 7:50 PM ET

Kent back in the Dodgers' lineup

Schmidt's recovery progressing; no timetable for Furcal's return

NEW YORK -- Manager Joe Torre was pleased to report that Jeff Kent, who had missed the previous two games in Chicago with lower back tightness, returned to the Dodgers' starting lineup for Thursday night's series opener against the Mets.

Torre also said that Jason Schmidt, who made his third rehab start on Monday, was scheduled to make his fourth on Friday. The significance is that it would be the first time Schmidt returned on a normal five-day cycle, the latest indicator that his recovery is progressing.

There still was no indication as to when Rafael Furcal would be able to resume baseball activities, but Torre said that even when the shortstop's lower back allows it, he would probably need to play several games in a Minor League rehab assignment.

In other injury news, Nomar Garciaparra is scheduled for further tests on his calf muscle on Friday.

The Dodgers, after scoring one run in each of their three losses in Chicago, canceled batting practice before Thursday night's game.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.