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'Minimal' knee damage enough to send Dodgers' Alex Guerrero to DL

LOS ANGELES -- Completely off the radar for about 10 days now, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Alex Guerrero is officially headed to the disabled list to start the season.

After missing time with a sore knee, a recent MRI didn’t necessarily reveal a major injury, but it was enough to send him to the DL.

“I think the immediate plan is for Alex to stay in Arizona,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He had an MRI and it showed minimal damage, but now we at least understand the discomfort and the pain he has been having in his knee.”

The real mystery of what to do with Guerrero might have to come when he is healthy again.

Roberts said at the start of spring training, that he only had designs on playing Guerrero at third base, despite his experience at other infield positions, as well as the outfield. Guerrero is not considered a plus defender at any position, and despite his ability to hit, he doesn't appear to be a good fit on the roster.

Guerrero is in the third year of a four-year, $28 million contract that allows him to reject an option to the minor leagues. Adding additional complication is the fact that if he is traded this year, he can void the final year of his deal and become a free agent.

Starting third baseman Justin Turner will take it slow at the outset following microfracture knee surgery in the offseason, but Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick were targeted for time at third base even when Guerrero was healthy. Utley and Enrique Hernandez will back up Turner at third now.

Kendrick remains in Arizona with his own calf issue. The veteran has not returned to game action and is expected to open the season on the disabled list, although his stint could be backdated to March 25, making him eligible to return to the roster on April 9, at the tail end of the opening road trip.