Grandal's Opening Day status uncertain

Dodgers catcher sidelined with forearm strain

Grandal's Opening Day status uncertain

PHOENIX -- Yasmani Grandal's nagging right forearm strain will sideline him from hitting or throwing until at least Monday and has Dodgers manager Dave Roberts uncertain whether the catcher will be ready for Opening Day.

"We're up against the clock," Roberts said after an MRI ruled out structural damage. "First and foremost, he's got to be healthy. I'd rather calm it down and take two or three or four days."

Grandal, whose brief career has been interrupted by several injuries, said he believes the irritation stems from extra batting practice he took trying to regain his hitting stroke after being idle most of the offseason following left shoulder surgery.

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"It's nothing major, nothing we can't handle," Grandal said. "It's close to the start of the season and we want to be ready for that. Actually it was good for a couple days, got inflamed again on foul-ball swings. I think it's just taking a step back, it's not April 4, it's Spring Training.

"If it was up to me, I'd play again today. You've got to respect the decision, it's made for my benefit and health. They didn't set a date to play, all they said is we don't want you to go out there too soon and redo it. It's not like I feel bad when I'm playing. The swing is good, throwing good, catching good. That's always a plus. They don't want me to hit, I'll work on my defense."

Grandal caught bullpen sessions Thursday, but had a Minor League catcher return the ball to pitchers.

Grandal is batting .375 this spring, but has played in only eight Major League games, compared to 11 for backup A.J. Ellis and 18 for third-stringer Austin Barnes, who has played a handful of those games at second base and designated hitter.

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