Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: October 2, 9:35 AM ET
Andre Ethier uncertain for NLDS

By Arash Markazi
ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who has been battling a left ankle injury, participated in the team's workout Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. He is hopeful he can be available to pinch hit to start the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday and possibly return to the outfield later in the series.

"It's probably just a hitting role; that's what our best hope is," Ethier said after the workout. "Who knows, maybe we wake up Saturday and Sunday and it feels good enough to go full-go. Hitting-wise it feels good enough. We'll worry about what to do after I get on first base then. I just want to figure out a way to contribute any way I can and not become a hindrance."

Ethier, who has been dealing with soreness in his left shin and ankle for more than two weeks, was able to hit and throw during the workout but did not run.

"I wake up every day and it feels great," Ethier said. "I walk to the bathroom and walk downstairs and it feels all right, and then as soon I really try to get going, that's when I feel it."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he was still trying to decide whether Ethier was healthy enough to make their first-round playoff roster.

"We're going to try to determine whether we're going to have him on our roster or not as soon as possible," Mattingly said. "Maybe he'll do enough today to show us that we're able to do X things with him and that's enough for us to go ahead and put him on the roster."

Mattingly said he is open to the possibility of carrying Ethier strictly as a pinch hitter but would like to see him run the bases. Ethier has had just one at-bat since Sept. 13, a pinch-hitting appearance in which he struck out.

Center fielder Matt Kemp, who was lost for the season with a left ankle injury last week, took in the workout from the dugout as he moved around on crutches and with a walking boot on his left foot.

The Dodgers plan to start Skip Schumaker at center field to begin the NLDS but also worked out Dee Gordon, Scott Van Slyke and Jerry Hairston Jr. at the position Tuesday.

"Hopefully we see [Ethier] back shortly," Schumaker said. "It just makes our team that much better when he's out there. If we didn't have him for the majority of the year, I don't know what we would have done. He's a big piece of this puzzle."

Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford said they would be open to playing center field if asked but the plan at the moment is to start Crawford in left field and Puig in right field.

"I'm ready to play wherever the team wants me to play," Puig said through an interpreter. "There are several other players on the team that are prepared to play center field, but wherever they ask me to go, I'm going to go."