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Word coming soon on Kenley Jansen

8/31/2012

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will know Tuesday whether closer Kenley Jansen will be back in a week or lost for the season.

Jansen was hospitalized in Denver earlier this week after a recurrence of an irregular heartbeat caused by a condition known as atrial fibrillation. Cardiologists will decide Tuesday whether Jansen can come off the blood-thinning medication he currently is taking -- in which case he could return to pitching as quickly as next weekend -- or whether he will need to remain on it and be shut it down for the remainder of this season.

“They don’t play around with that stuff,” Jansen said. “Whatever decision they make, I’ve got to take it and, hopefully, my health will get better.”

Jansen had yet to take the field Tuesday in Colorado when he began experiencing a fast, irregular heartbeat. When he was first diagnosed with the condition last season, he says he cut down on fatty foods and on his consumption of caffeine, sugar and alcohol.

Atrial fibrillation is the most common form of cardiac arrhythmia. If treated properly, often with medication, patients with it can live normal lives with a typical life expectancy. Jansen said doctors have discussed the possibility of performing a procedure known as an ablation, in which the heart tissue that produces the irregular beat is destroyed arthroscopically.

If Jansen (2.54 ERA, 25 saves) pitches again this year, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he would resume his closer duties right away. In the interim, the Dodgers are going with Brandon League and Ronald Belisario for the ninth inning.

“At that point, for me, yeah, Kenley won’t go anywhere,” Mattingly said.

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, who missed three games after a collision with the outfield wall in Colorado, returned to the lineup Friday.

Arizona

Chris Young CF

Aaron Hill 2B

Jason Kubel LF

Paul Goldschmidt 1B

Justin Upton RF

Miguel Montero C

Chris Johnson 3B

Jake Elmore SS

Trevor Cahill P

Dodgers

Mark Ellis 2B

Shane Victorino LF

Adrian Gonzalez 1B

Matt Kemp CF

Hanley Ramirez SS

Andre Ethier RF

Luis Cruz 3B

A.J. Ellis C

Aaron Harang