Elbert Could Return Next Month

The Dodgers could see one of their best arms return to game action as early as next month. Lefthander Scott Elbert, the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2004, missed nearly all of last season to have surgery to remove scar tissue from his labrum and has yet to pitch in a game this season.

"He was throwing the ball really well," pitching coordinator Marty Reed said while at Carolina to watch Double-A Jacksonville. "He had a minor setback, just a little bit of inflammation. They gave him a little bit of medicine and he’s coming through that now. I wouldn’t be surprised if in two or three weeks he was up here pitching."

Elbert, 23, pitched in 2007 for Jacksonville, where he had 24 strikeouts in 14 innings and a 3.86 ERA. In 2006, Elbert had a 3.61 ERA and a 76-44 K-BB mark in 62 1/3 innings with Jacksonville after a callup from high Class A Vero Beach, where he had a 2.37 ERA and a 97-41 K-BB ratio in 83 2/3 innings.

"He’s still throwing 92-95 (mph)," Reed said. "You can protect him a little bit more in extended spring (training); you can’t run him out here right now. The biggest thing is, it’s not how he’s throwing–he’s throwing the ball fine–it’s how he bounces back. He’s getting back into shape. In two weeks, three weeks, he should be back up here."