Yasiel Puig returns to lineup

ByMark Saxon ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WASHINGTON -- After passing a series of concussion tests and getting two days off following a hard crash into an outfield wall, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to the starting lineup for Wednesday's game at Nationals Park.

"He was cleared to be able to use him any way we wanted to last night," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We were going to try to stay away from him if we could."

Puig was put through a rigorous workout before Tuesday's game, and Mattingly said Puig did not complain afterward of a headache, one of the symptoms of a concussion. Mattingly, however, resisted the urge to use Puig as a pinch hitter or in a double switch during an 8-3 victory behind ace Clayton Kershaw.

Previously, Puig passed two SCAT3 concussion tests.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers' excess of every-day outfielders is proving useful at times. Matt Kemp, who is still recovering from offseason ankle surgery, seemed to be walking with a slight limp in the Dodgers' clubhouse Wednesday morning and was given the day off.

Mattingly said Kemp isn't listed on any injury reports and would be available off the bench if needed.

The Dodgers have played two extra-inning games, had some all-night travel and had to sit through a three-plus-hour rain delay during this nine-game trip.

It was raining before the game in Washington on Wednesday.

"I felt like he's had to deal with what we're talking about -- the long games, the delays, the stops and starts," Mattingly said of Kemp. "I can't say he's limping. I haven't heard anything medically that anything was wrong, but for me, he just seemed a little tired yesterday as the game went along."

Kemp, who got off to a slow start, is batting .323 on the road trip.

The team also expects starting catcher A.J. Ellis (knee) to return in the next week or so. Ellis began a minor league rehab assignment Wednesday at extended spring training in Arizona.

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