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5/2/2013 12:14 A.M. ET

M. Ellis short of full strength as Kershaw nears return

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have a decision looming on Mark Ellis and his strained right quad.

The second baseman has not played since he came up lame running to first base in the fifth inning Friday against the Brewers. Ellis said Wednesday that he was feeling better and was able to field, throw, hit and move laterally with no issue. But he was still unable to run at full speed.

The Dodgers need to open a roster spot for Clayton Kershaw to return from the bereavement list and make his scheduled start Friday at San Francisco.

Does Ellis believe he will be healthy enough to play Friday?

"We'll see; I won't know until Friday," Ellis said before Wednesday's game against the Rockies. "If it progresses every day like it has, I'd be optimistic. But it's early in the season still, so we'll see."

If Ellis is unavailable again Friday, the Dodgers would most likely place the veteran on the disabled list.

The Dodgers are also expecting Chris Capuano to return from the disabled list to start during a three-game series against the D-backs next Monday through Wednesday.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was been pleased with the production from Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston and Skip Schumaker at second base with Ellis sidelined. Justin Sellers can also play second, in addition to shortstop and third base. So the Dodgers are unlikely to add another infielder to the mix.

Dodgers sit Crawford for second straight game

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are being cautious with Carl Crawford and his tight right hamstring.

Crawford was held out of the lineup for a second straight day Wednesday. The outfielder was a late scratch before Tuesday's game after taking batting practice, but he did not work out with the Dodgers on the field before Wednesday's series finale against the Rockies.

The Dodgers said Tuesday that Crawford was scratched from the lineup as a precaution, but the All-Star's health was not improved Wednesday.

"That's not something that we can play around with," manager Don Mattingly said before Wednesday's game. "We've got to be careful with him."

It is unclear whether Crawford will be able to play Friday at San Francisco. The Dodgers are off Thursday, so that gives him another day to recover before a three-game series against the Giants.

"We'll see where we are Friday," Mattingly said. "Obviously, we're not going to push him. We're going to make sure he's ready to go when he goes back out there."

Crawford played five innings Monday before Jerry Hairston replaced him in left field with the Dodgers trailing, 12-0, in the top of the sixth. Crawford has not played since.

Crawford is hitting .308 in 25 games, and he leads the Dodgers with four homers and 20 runs scored. He hit two solo shots Sunday against the Brewers.

Nick Punto replaced Crawford at the top of the order Wednesday, with Skip Schumaker getting the start in left field.

After strong debut, Magill could start for Lilly

LOS ANGELES -- After an impressive Major League debut, Dodgers right-hander Matt Magill could take the mound again Saturday if Ted Lilly is unable to make his scheduled start against the Giants.

Lilly had an injection in his right rib cage Tuesday after he experienced discomfort in his start against the Rockies on Monday. The left-hander lasted just three innings and allowed five runs on eight hits.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday that Lilly's status for Saturday was "still kind of up in the air."

"If it's not him it would be Magill," Mattingly said.

Lilly would most likely have to throw a bullpen session before Saturday to prove he could make his scheduled start in San Francisco. But that seems unlikely given the fact Lilly is under orders to not throw off a mound "for a couple of days," Mattingly said.

Magill, the organization's No. 7 prospect, was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque last Saturday to start in place of Stephen Fife, who was placed on the disabled list with right elbow bursitis.

Magill struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers, allowing two runs on four hits. The right-hander walked off the field to a standing ovation at Dodger Stadium. But he settled for a no-decision after the bullpen could not hold a 3-2 lead.

Magill, 23, impressed the Dodgers in that outing, enough for management to keep him on the active roster. Now, he is likely to get another start.

"He's a guy that just seems to be under control," Mattingly said. "He's a guy that you can just see his precision really in his work. He's been a guy that has to locate. He's kind of constantly getting better. A couple years ago, we didn't hear very much about Matt Magill. He just started to get on the radar. He just keeps working and getting better."

Capuano goes 5 1/3 in Triple-A rehab start

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings of a rehab start at Triple-A Albuquerque on Wednesday night.

Capuano, who injured his left calf during the April 11 tussle in San Diego and came out of his next start early, allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked one.

The start puts him in line to return to the Dodgers rotation either Monday or Tuesday night.

Capuano's calf was given an early test when Kolten Wong, the second batter of the game for Memphis, bunted for a single, sending Capuano charging off the mound but failing to make a diving stop.

Capuano got a different kind of test in the third inning, after Memphis scored a run, when the left-hander knocked down Chad Huffman's two-out comebacker with his bare hand. Capuano threw out Huffman to end the inning and was able to continue.

Uribe taking bases at torrid pace

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe entered Wednesday's game having drawn nearly as many walks as he did all of last season.

In 16 games, Uribe had 11 walks in 43 plate appearances and was reaching base at a .419 clip. The veteran had 13 walks in 66 games with the Dodgers last year, and 17 walks in 77 games in 2011 during his first season with the club.

Uribe has never drawn more than 45 walks in a season, but he is on pace to break that mark this year.

Has Uribe's sudden increase in walks surprised manager Don Mattingly?

"A little bit," Mattingly said before Wednesday's game against the Rockies. "It allows me really to be able to hit him back there in the eight hole."

Uribe is hitting .219 with two homers and four RBIs. But he has shown more patience at the plate and seen more time lately at third base. Uribe has started six of the last seven games at third.

"He's been swinging the bat good, too," Mattingly said. "His at-bats are good."

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.