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Dodgers' Scott Kazmir downplays abdominal issue

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Scott Kazmir refuses to be the next Los Angeles Dodgers player to go on the injury list.

Dodgers coaches took preventative measures Saturday to make sure he is not.

Time will tell, but there remains a chance it was too late.

Kazmir had his Cactus League start cut short Saturday, leaving the contest against the Seattle Mariners after four innings and 70 pitches. He reluctantly admitted to an abdominal issue that cropped up at some point during the outing, but insisted that it was not serious.

“It was something just completely minor, but that literally I was, ‘I’m ready to go out there,’” Kazmir said. “It was like, ‘No, let’s not even test it.’”

Manager Dave Roberts also said the issue was not considered serious, but was then asked how much of that diagnosis is based on hope.

The test right afterward let the training staff know it’s not serious,” Roberts said. “It shouldn’t be a problem going forward.”

It is understandable that the coaching staff wants nothing to do with another injury. Already Saturday, Yasiel Puig was scratched with a tight hamstring.

Center field is the only position for the Dodgers that hasn’t had an injury issue this spring.

Everywhere else, from Andre Ethier in left, to Puig in right, and the entire infield, including two separate injuries to second baseman Howie Kendrick, has dealt with some kind of issue. Catcher Yasmani Grandal is in danger of starting the season on the disabled list.

The Dodgers are even down multiple starting pitchers, from Brett Anderson (back) to Mike Bolsinger (side) to Brandon Beachy (elbow).

Kazmir was asked about touching his abdominal area when talking to trainers after his start ended early.

“Yeah, that’s all it was,” he said. “Honestly, all the tests went well, everything went great. It was awesome. It’s really nothing to identify, so we’re good. We are definitely good.”

Kazmir spoke those last four words slowly, right into the lens of a camera shooting video. In fact, he said he was “good” 14 times in an interview that lasted less than four minutes.

But the questions about an injury still kept coming.

“I get it, I understand, but this is just one of those things where everything was going great and it was something where I felt comfortable, good to go back out there,” Kazmir said. “The guys made a decision to just shut it down, just precautionary.”

The left-hander’s next start is scheduled for March 31, at Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels. He insists he will be pitching that day. But the team will have to wait a day before making that official.

“Obviously tomorrow morning we’ll know more, but I don’t see it being a problem, I really don’t,” Roberts insisted.