Ethier's playoff status unclear because of ankle

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 26, 2013 at 1:32 am •  Published: September 26, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Andre Ethier wants no part of speculation about his playoff status.

He is still plenty optimistic his troublesome left ankle can heal in time to be part of the postseason roster for the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

"I'm not worried about that right now. I'm worried about tomorrow," Ethier said after Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the Giants. "So does the postseason start tomorrow? All right, so we're worried about tomorrow. It's as simple as that. Let's not get ahead of ourselves too much here and see if we can get the best scoop, all right? So work out tomorrow and that's the scoop I'll give you for that."

Ethier returned to Southern California earlier Wednesday to have his troublesome left ankle re-examined, then returned to the Bay Area to re-join his club.

While the team isn't sure whether he will be available for the NL division series starting next week, manager Don Mattingly said after the game he remains hopeful the outfielder will heal.

"It's gotten a lot better in 11 days," Mattingly said. "I think we're right at the edge of it turning the corner."

The Dodgers announced during the game with the Giants that Ethier was examined by team orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache and orthopedic foot and ankle specialist Dr. Phillip Kwong. Repeat MRI and CT scans were performed, showing the injured area had improved but not fully healed.

"Ethier will be cleared to return to competition when he is able to run the bases without pain," the Dodgers said. "Until then, he will continue to hit and throw as before."

Ethier said his next step would be determined by how he feels when he arrives at AT&T Park on Thursday.

"Five days ago I was wearing a boot in Arizona," he said. "Yesterday I was shagging balls in the outfield. So who knows, maybe I wake up tomorrow and it feels good."

Despite starter Ricky Nolasco's late-September struggles, Mattingly remains confident he will contribute in October.

The right-hander (13-11) is 0-2 over his last three outings since getting victories in four consecutive starts and seven straight decisions.

"Ricky's shown us he can throw the ball really well and he can make good pitches," Mattingly said. "I don't think Ricky has done anything that's going to change our mind."

Mattingly said before the game he has to prepare for the fact Ethier might not be healthy in time for the playoffs.

"I think you're always making plans with different scenarios," he said.

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