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03/19/09 5:38 PM ET

Torre won't rush Manny to outfield

Dodgers manager wants to be careful with star's left hamstring injury

PHOENIX -- After spending his day off in a cricket photo shoot, Manny Ramirez resumed his rehab from a hamstring injury Thursday and manager Joe Torre indicated he will be ultra conservative in returning Ramirez to the outfield between now and Opening Day.

"There's absolutely no evidence of discomfort," Torre said of Ramirez's left hamstring, which forced him to the sideline after it was aggravated in Sunday's game.

"He doesn't feel anything. But you never really know until he starts doing things with the game on the line. It's very important for us to get this solved. He could play with this in the regular season, but I don't want that to be the case. We have to get this thing fixed.

"I'm in no hurry. He wants to play left field. Great. We'll have a conversation before we do anything. It's his body and I'm sensitive to the fact he wants to play the outfield. We'll start him back with the DH as much as we can, even though late in the spring, National League teams will want their pitchers to hit."

Asked about the hamstring, Ramirez was more upbeat than at any time since he first felt tightness last Wednesday. He was allowed to resume light field workouts Thursday after being limited to pool exercises and batting practice in the cage.

"I'm running in the pool and it feels a lot better, much better. We're shooting for Opening Day," he said with a laugh. "No more cricket. I'm not signing to play cricket. Well, I can be a free agent after this year, so we'll see. But don't ask me about cricket."

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