Gonzalez might return before end of August

Veteran plays in second rehab game since being placed on 60-day DL

Gonzalez might return before end of August

Adrian Gonzalez continues to inch closer to a return from a back injury that has kept him out of action since June.

The Dodgers' veteran first baseman played his second rehab game for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday, playing the field and having three plate appearances -- he singled and hit two sacrifice flies -- before he was replaced in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Gonzalez, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a herniated disk in his back, has been limited to 49 games this season, and last played for the Dodgers on June 11. The 35-year-old began his rehab assignment on Thursday, when he went 1-for-3 and played 5 1/2 innings.

Gonzalez is expected to be on rehab for several weeks. If all goes according to plan, and his back is healthy enough to hold up in the Majors, he could return to the Dodgers before August is over.

On Sunday, before starting his rehab, Gonzalez went through a batting practice session with teammate Andre Ethier -- also out with a herniated disk, and not expected back until late August or September -- as well as a simulated game.

Gonzalez is hitting .255/.304/.339 with just one home run and 23 RBIs in his injury-marred season.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.