Ethier on crutches, still listed as day to day

Left fielder listed as day to day after fouling ball off shin on Friday

Ethier on crutches, still listed as day to day

PHOENIX -- Andre Ethier hobbled into the Dodgers' clubhouse on crutches Saturday morning, his bruised right shin wrapped and painful, but fortunately not broken.

X-rays were negative after Ethier fouled a pitch off the leg, the ball striking the small unprotected part between his knee guard and plastic protective guard he wears underneath the sock. On Sunday, Ethier was moving better.

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Manager Dave Roberts said he "absolutely" expects Ethier to be ready for Opening Day, although he will be restricted to treatment for the next two or three days.

The club lists Ethier as day to day, with Opening Day a little more than two weeks away. He is projected as the starting left fielder and is hitting .435 in 23 at-bats this spring.

"My leg is littered with scars and marks doing that over the years," said Ethier. "It's one of those plays that happens. It feels a lot better today than it did yesterday. We'll see in the next couple of days. There's a little bit of time, I'm not worried yet."

Ethier, who has been on the disabled list only twice in nearly 10 seasons, said this was "probably one of the top three" most painful moments he's had. After a long time on the ground, he finished the at-bat with a walk, then was lifted for a pinch-runner.

"I was more making sure all the pieces and parts were in the right place," Ethier said of his initial reaction. "Instant throbbing in the leg, trying to let it subside. It did, but after finishing with a walk, it wasn't going to happen -- running the bases."

Ethier said the area of contact "is not really swollen, and you can barely see the mark on there. That's reassuring."

He also said he didn't yet know what he would be able to do on Saturday training-wise, but wasn't sure what he could have done differently to prevent this injury.

"I'll have to start wearing a soccer guard," he said. "I don't like wearing the outside ones. I wear one underneath, but it hit right between that underneath one and the knee guard I wear. It usually finds a spot."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.