Ethier returns for first time this season

Outfielder fractured right leg during Spring Training

Ethier returns for first time this season

MIAMI -- The Dodgers activated Andre Ethier on Saturday, and manager Dave Roberts said the outfielder will likely start in left field on Sunday. To make room on the 40-man roster, reliever Casey Fien was designated for assignment.

Ethier, who had been sidelined since fouling a pitch that broke his right leg in Spring Training, grounded out to first as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Saturday's 5-0 win over the Marlins. He recently finished a nine-game rehab stint with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga.

"The leg felt good," Ethier said. "Been a long summer. The guys did a good job, I'm just here to contribute. There are no promises this time of year. Just come back, contribute and not get in the way of the good baseball these guys are playing. Whether it's a pinch-hit, a double-switch or a start, just do whatever it is the last 20 games to help out. Don't expect much other than to get a chance when he thinks I'm ready."

Ethier hit in shin, later exits

Ethier said he has been too focused on getting back onto the field to analyze his chances of being on a postseason roster.

"Not even a concern in my mind right now," Ethier said. "We went from a summer of, a couple weeks I'll be back, to at the break, to possibly the end of the year, to not a chance, to the last four weeks. As I said the last couple times, all I know is I'm here today, and we'll figure out tomorrow."

Roberts said he will try to work Ethier into a crowded outfield that already has Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, Josh Reddick, Yasiel Puig, Andrew Toles and Kiké Hernandez seeking playing time.

"It's good to have 'Dre back," Roberts said. "It's great to see that he's open to whatever role we have for him. He's going to come off the bench tonight, be ready to get a hit, and tomorrow he'll probably be in left field. Each player has a case to play more. At this point, it's just keeping players fresh and getting matchups. Tonight, for Yasiel to be unselfish, a little uncomfortable in left field, says a lot about him and his commitment to the team. He's swinging the bat well. It just shows the growth in Yasiel."

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