CINCINNATI -- Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal didn't hint at retirement this time -- he caused a mini-stir when, clearly out of frustration, he said he should retire after breaking his left thumb on a headfirst slide April 11 -- but he did express extreme disappointment at going back onto the disabled list Saturday, just 13 days after returning from a six-week stint with the thumb injury.
This time, Furcal has a strained left oblique. He said he was told he could miss anywhere from two weeks to a month.
"I was just getting on track," Furcal said. "I know my first week (back), when I was trying to get on track, it was a little tough. But I was starting to play better, seeing the ball better, playing better defense. Now, I'm going back to the DL. I want to cry, man."
Furcal is in the final season of a three-year, $30 million contract, with a $12 million club option for 2012 that seems increasingly unlikely to be exercised and now has no chance of vesting. With free agency looming and four trips to the DL with four different injuries since the start of last season, Furcal was asked about his future.
"I'm not thinking about what happens next year," he said. "I'm thinking about this year because this year isn't over. I'm trying to get healthy. Whatever happens next year happens."
Furcal said he was feeling considerable pain in his side on Saturday, more than what he felt when he left Friday night's game after the bottom of the second inning, during which he had injured himself turning to make a throw to third on a rundown play. But he also said the medical staff had told him the injury didn't look that bad, giving him hope might be able to return relatively soon.
"It's my life," he said. "Everything happens for (a reason). I just wish I had more control (over) that."
The Dodgers also missed another chance to have their entire starting infield together for the first time since Furcal went onto the DL the first time, because Juan Uribe is expected to come off the DL on Monday. The Dodgers won the night Furcal broke his thumb, after which they were 6-4. Since then, they are 20-28.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.