Ethier has no lingering effects from '16 injury

With leg 100 percent, veteran outfielder trying to win starting job

Ethier has no lingering effects from '16 injury

PHOENIX -- Even after he returned from a broken right leg late last season, Andre Ethier played hurt. But Ethier says he's fully healed now and ready to compete for a starting outfield job.

"I talked to a few other athletes that had the kind of fracture I had, and they said it takes 12-18 months," said Ethier. "But I worked out with every drill possible, landing on my leg at different angles, and it's 100 percent."

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Even if a healthy Ethier means the Dodgers have a crowded outfield, that's a problem worth having. Following a bounce-back season in 2015, Ethier was on fire last March when he fouled a pitch off his right leg and suffered a freakish spiral fracture that just wouldn't heal. He returned in September to play in 16 games, appearing on defense only once.

Having watched from the sidelines last year as the Dodgers went through 55 players, he laughs when he hears suggestions that the Dodgers have too many quality players.

Ethier's pinch-hit solo homer

"We'll probably use everyone in here," he said in the clubhouse, "and some that aren't even in here."

Ethier, who turns 35 in April, said the only benefit from last year's summer was rare family time, including carpool duties for his two sons to baseball and soccer practice. He also became a father for the third time.

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