Maeda improving after right leg injury

Roberts reiterates righty should make his next start

Maeda improving after right leg injury

PHOENIX -- Kenta Maeda, the limp essentially gone, on Wednesday reported improvement in his right leg injury suffered Tuesday night. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts reiterated he was hopeful the right-hander would make his scheduled start on Sunday.

Maeda told Japanese media he would be mindful of the leg injury leading to any mechanical change that would put his arm in jeopardy. He was hit by a line drive in Japan in 2013 and had his next start pushed back several days.

Maeda was knocked out of Tuesday night's game by a Paul Goldschmidt line drive that struck the pitcher below the right knee, missing both major bones in the leg. X-rays were negative.

"Better. Swelling down, weight bearing, so again, we're encouraged he'll be able to make his next start," Roberts said. "It just got him in the best possible spot. There are bones to both sides of where it hit, but it got him in the muscle and not the bone, where it got [Andre] Ethier."

Maeda was struck by a Michael Conforto line drive in New York last month but completed five innings. He was given one extra day of rest before his next start, when he allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings.

Thursday would be the day Maeda throws between starts, which will give a better indication of his availability for Sunday.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.