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Rafael Furcal likely to begin rehab assignment on Saturday

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 11: Rafael Furcal #15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers steals third base in the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants during an MLB game at AT&T Park on April 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters earlier this week that shortstop Rafael Furcal was “just not ready” to begin a minor league rehab assignment because he was unable to swing comfortably from the right side of the plate.

That tune has changed a bit.

According to the Dodgers’ Twitter feed, Furcal is likely to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque despite the discomfort. He will only bat left-handed initially to allow his fractured left thumb a few more days to heal.

Furcal has been on the disabled list since early April and is likely to spend at least a week taking at-bats in the minor leagues before the Dodgers consider activating him.

The 33-year-old was batting .192/.250/.231 with one stolen base and two RBI in his first seven games.