Dodgers Hopeful Mookie Betts Will Avoid Injured List, Return Friday

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have enjoyed all of one game with their three MVPs on the field at the same time, and they will again see Cody Bellinger, Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts playing together remains unclear.

Bellinger of course is a regular in the lineup, and Kershaw’s turn in the rotation is coming up Saturday. That leaves Betts as the question mark as he works to return from an issue with the middle finger on his left hand.

Discomfort caused Betts to be removed from the game on Sunday, and he was limited to appearing as a defensive replacement over the second and third matchups of the series with the San Diego Padres.

“That’s the hope but I’m not certain,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Betts potentially returning to the lineup for Friday’s series opener with the San Francisco Giants.

“[Wednesday], from my understanding, he’s going through his regular routine, so that’s a positive thing as far as swinging the bat. I don’t know if he’s going to take batting practice or not, but with the day off [Thursday], the hope is yeah, to get him back in there. But if it doesn’t happen then we’ll just adjust.”

While an X-ray at Chase Field was negative, Betts has dealt with “significant swelling” in his finger throughout the week. That still has not prompted the team to conduct further examination, such as an MRI, and it also doesn’t appear the 2018 American League MVP will land on the injured list.

“With the DH, it’s not as imperative,” Roberts said. “But I think that where we’re at, the extra guys in the bullpen, certainly we’re going to make an adjustment with the roster come Thursday or Friday. But I just don’t think we’re there yet with Mookie.”

Although the Dodgers were essentially without Betts in what was a competitive series against the Padres, Roberts noted it was a testament to the organization’s roster depth.

“It speaks to the talent and character,” he said. “Obviously you never want to lose one of your best players, but we’re trying to nurse him back to health. Got him in as a defensive replacement the last couple nights, but it’s just great to see other guys step up and contribute to wins.”

Dodgers probables for Giants series

Julio Urias is scheduled to start Friday against the Giants, followed in the series by Kershaw and Walker Buehler. L.A.’s only homestand this season was a four-game set with San Francisco, which was split.

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