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Thursday, June 1, 2006
Gagne returns to Dodgers; Kent goes on DL

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Infielder Jeff Kent went on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of a sprained left wrist, becoming the latest in a series of Los Angeles Dodgers who have been hurt.

Kent's stint is retroactive to May 28; outfielder Joel Guzman was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his roster spot.

Kent missed his fifth straight game Thursday, when the Dodgers opened a seven-game homestand against Philadelphia. He sprained his wrist swinging at a pitch against Washington on May 27.

"The progress hasn't been there," he said. "I've been trying to swing a bat every day and aggravating the joint, and it's just not working out."

Kent received an injection Thursday to lessen the pain in his hand, and said he doesn't anticipate being away long.

"There's no big tears, there's no fractures of the bone, so I'm hoping this is just a bad, bad sprain that is just going to take a few days to heal," he said.

As Kent went on the DL, the Dodgers got a major dose of good news when closer Eric Gagne came off it. He was available Thursday for the first time since June 12 following two surgeries on his right elbow.

"Everybody has been anticipating it for about a year-and-a-half, almost two years now," Kent said. "The crowd is going to love it. It's going to be cool."

Gagne has converted 18 consecutive saves dating to Aug. 28, 2004. He has posted a 1.83 ERA since the start of the 2002 season, tops among all major league pitchers in that span with 200 or more innings.

"I'm anxious, excited," said Gagne, who wasn't assured of getting in Thursday night's game. "It's like the first day of school. My arm feels great. My stuff is pretty much the same as before."

Shortstop Cesar Izturis, who hasn't played this season after surgery on his right elbow, was set to begin a rehab stint Thursday night at Las Vegas.

Also missing time this season have been Nomar Garciaparra and Kenny Lofton. Garciaparra has been on a tear since coming off the DL on April 22. He batted .375 in May, when he had 28 RBIs.

Still on the DL are outfielders Ricky Ledee and Jason Repko and catcher Dioner Navarro.

"We've been doing all right taking hits," Kent said. "We've been fortunate enough that a lot of guys are playing good baseball, not just a couple guys. When you got a lot of guys playing good baseball, a team can take a few hits here and there."