Crawford heading out on rehab assignment

Outfielder has been sidelined due to back injury

Crawford heading out on rehab assignment

ATLANTA -- Carl Crawford will take the next step to getting back to patrolling the outfield for the Dodgers on Wednesday night. Crawford, who has been hindered by a lower back strain, is scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City against the Memphis Redbirds.

"Carl is going to be heading out [Wednesday] morning," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday.

Crawford was hitting .273 (3-for-11) with a double and two RBIs in five games before back soreness landed him on the disabled list on April 9. It's the second straight season the 34-year-old outfielder has gone on the DL in the season's first month, as he strained his right oblique last April 28, which kept him out through most of July. Crawford played 69 games last year

Crawford did some pregame running and hitting in the batting cage at Turner Field on Tuesday and is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, when the Dodgers conclude their six-game road trip in Colorado. But Roberts said activating him would depend on the state of the bullpen after Saturday's game at Coors Field.

Howie Kendrick, the fifth player to start in left field for the Dodgers this season, got the start in left for the second straight game in the series opener on Tuesday. It was his 30th career game in left (23rd start).

"I think it just kind of goes to I trust [Kendrick]," said Roberts. "It's risen and I think, for him, it's just risen more for him to be out there and get through a night playing a position he's really never played. But for me, I don't really think twice about having him out there."

Jon Cooper is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.