PHOENIX -- Los Angeles Dodgers rookie shortstop Dee Gordon, who left Saturday night's game after jamming his right shoulder while applying a tag on a third-inning rundown play, could return to the starting lineup as soon as Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
"It's possible," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who added that Gordon could be available to pinch-run in Sunday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Dodgers medical-services director Stan Conte took Gordon through some normal activity before the game, including hitting balls off a tee and playing catch. Mattingly said Gordon still felt slight discomfort in the shoulder but otherwise was fine.
"That was really encouraging for me," Mattingly said.
The injury occurred when Dodgers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who was making his major league debut, caught Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson too far off first and had him picked off. When Eovaldi threw over, Johnson broke for second, where Gordon was covering. After first baseman Juan Rivera threw the ball to Gordon, Johnson reversed course and headed back to first, and Gordon, who possesses superior speed, decided to chase Johnson almost all the way rather than throwing to Eovaldi, who had come over to cover first.
Johnson got so close to first that Gordon had to dive into his back in order to apply the tag with his gloved left hand. In doing so, Gordon attempted to break his fall with his right hand, but planted it so hard in the dirt that the shock went all the way to his shoulder.
Following a quick examination by Dr. Brian Shafer, one of the Dodgers' team physicians, it was determined that Gordon had neither a separation nor a dislocation, and that no X-rays were needed. After the game, Gordon stood by his decision to chase Johnson almost all the way back to first instead of simply throwing to Eovaldi for the tag, but Mattingly said Sunday that there is a lesson to be learned.
"He may throw the ball a little more quickly next time," Mattingly said.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com