Kuroda could start Sunday for Dodgers

Kuroda could return on Sunday

LOS ANGELES -- Hiroki Kuroda improved his chances of returning to the Dodgers' rotation Sunday with an effective rehab start for Class A Inland Empire on Tuesday night.

In his first game action since taking a line drive off the head Aug. 15, Kuroda allowed San Jose one unearned run on five hits in five innings, throwing 62 pitches. He struck out five and the only run allowed scored in the third inning on a passed ball.

Kuroda has been disabled from the effects of a concussion since getting drilled off the side of the head by a Rusty Ryal line drive in Arizona.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre said earlier Tuesday that Kuroda is "penciled in" as the Dodgers' starter Sunday against the Padres.

The return of Kuroda, along with the acquisition of Jon Garland from the White Sox on Monday night, gives the Dodgers six starters, not counting Charlie Haeger, who was bumped from the rotation by Garland. The others are Chad Billingsley, Randy Wolf, Clayton Kershaw and Vicente Padilla.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.