Crawford to begin rehab assignment Sunday

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment Sunday and could return from the 15-day disabled list as early as Thursday.

The Dodgers are zeroing in on full strength after three months of relentless injuries.

Matt Kemp came off the DL on Tuesday and Hanley Ramirez was activated June 4, the day after the Dodgers recalled Yasiel Puig.

Ted Lilly is scheduled to pitch in the same game for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called Crawford and Lilly the team's "last remnants" of an injury-riddled season. The Dodgers have used the disabled list a league-high 20 times on 15 different players this season.

When Crawford returns, the Dodgers will have four outfielders for three spots. The probable odd man out is Andre Ethier, who is batting .256 with five home runs in 75 games and was moved to left field to accommodate Puig, who is batting .427 with a .708 slugging percentage in 23 games.

There has been speculation the Dodgers will look to trade Ethier, who is in the first year of a five-year, $85 million contract.

Crawford has been on the DL since June 2 because of a strained left hamstring. He was batting .301 with nine stolen bases and, even after missing nearly a month, still leads the Dodgers with 32 runs scored. He is scheduled to play two games at designated hitter and two games in the outfield in Rancho Cucamonga.