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05/22/09 8:30 PM ET

Paul heads to DL with staph infection

'Could be weeks' before he returns; Hoffman summoned

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers rookie outfielder Xavier Paul has been hospitalized since Wednesday night with a staph infection serious enough to sideline him for weeks.

Paul was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, with Jamie Hoffman called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace him.

Paul has a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a particularly nasty infection more common in football that, as the name implies, is resistent to many antibiotics. He had a similar episode coming out of Spring Training that was healed, but apparently suffered a scraped knee making a diving catch in Florida last weekend and the infection was re-introduced through a small cut.

According to trainer Stan Conte, Paul was treated when the area became inflamed and was able to play Wednesday night, but after the game the area swelled into a "full-blown infection" and he was taken to USC Hospital for Infectious Diseases, where he remains.

He was treated with intraveneous antibiotics. Conte said he will remain hospitalized "a couple more days" and that it "could be weeks" before he can play again, because the skin must be fully closed to prevent a recurrance.

The Dodgers held a team meeting in the trainer's room before batting practice to brief the players on Paul's condition and discuss sanitary habits to minimize chances of further infections.

Paul, 24, was called up May 7 to replace the suspended Manny Ramirez. He was 3-for-7 as a pinch-hitter and 3-for-14 overall with a home run and one RBI.

Hoffman, 24, was recently promoted from Double-A Chattanooga (where he hit .307) to Albuquerque (where he was hitting .257) when Jason Repko was injured. He was an undrafted free agent signed in 2004 after being an eighth-round draft pick of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes in 2003.

He's a right-handed hitter and was a midseason All-Star last year at Double-A Jacksonville.

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