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06/04/09 9:40 PM ET
Paul rejoins Dodgers for pregame workout
Outfielder working way back from battle with staph infection
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Outfielder Xavier Paul rejoined the Dodgers on Thursday and worked out on the field with his teammates for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list on May 22 with a staph infection. Paul took his first step on Wednesday when he hit off a tee for the first time since being hospitalized for four days. Paul originally scraped his knee in Philadelphia and worsened it by making a diving catch in Miami, but he said Thursday that his knee is much better. "Everything is pretty much healed as far as my knee is concerned," said Paul, who batted .214 with a home run in 11 games before going on the DL. "The doctors over at USC and Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache were very familiar with this stuff, so we're able to treat it pretty effectively." Even though the doctors were familiar with the infection, it was still a frightening experience for Paul. The infection spread all the way up his leg and got so bad that he had to have surgery for the first time in his life. "I was nervous," Paul said. "When you see an infection creeping up your leg with the condition my knee was in with it looking like it was getting worse, it's scary." Paul, though, was put on antibiotics and had his knee drained, which helped him recover. But he said he's still not sure when he'll be ready to play again and whether it'll be with the Dodgers or with Triple-A Albuquerque. "I'm going to start running to get my body back in condition to where I was before," Paul said. "And then whenever the team thinks I'm ready, they'll make a decision. I've never had this type of injury before so I don't know when I'll be back. Hopefully sooner rather than later."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.