Zack Greinke to begin rehab Friday

LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment Friday night in a Class-A game and could be ready to rejoin the Los Angeles Dodgers within two weeks, roughly three weeks ahead of the original timetable.

The Dodgers announced that Greinke will begin his rehab at Lake Elsinore for the Dodgers' Rancho Cucamonga team.

Greinke broke his left collarbone April 11 during a fight with San Diego Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin, who was upset after being hit by a pitch and charged the mound. Greinke had surgery two days later and was expected to be out for eight weeks.

The right-hander has thrown two bullpen session of roughly 60 pitches each and the Dodgers have clocked him throwing up to 90 mph. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said recently Greinke might not need more than two rehab starts to return to the team's rotation. The Dodgers, who entered the season with a record payroll, are 13-20 and have used the disabled list 13 times already. They have used nine different starting pitchers.

"He really hasn't lost much time," Mattingly said. "We feel like his arm strength is back."

Greinke was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two starts before the injury. He signed a six-year, $147 million contract -- then a record for a right-handed pitcher -- in December.

Greinke said earlier this week he was hopeful he could return in time to face the Padres, who are in Dodger Stadium for a three-game series beginning June 3. Quentin served an eight-game suspension after the fight, which nearly spilled into the players' parking lot when Quentin was confronted by Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp.