Ramirez hurt but pinch hits

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers are hopeful that Manny Ramirez will return to the starting lineup on Thursday night against San Diego after the left fielder was scratched minutes before game time on Wednesday night with a freak toe injury.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Ramirez was loosening up his legs by swinging them in the training room when he inadvertently kicked the leg of a table with the little toe on his left leg. An X-ray on the toe showed no significant damage.

Ramirez was able to pinch hit in the fifth inning, striking out against Padres right-hander Jon Garland. Ramirez came into the game 15 for 30 in his career against Garland, with three home runs, 11 RBI and 10 walks.

The incident certainly gave the Dodgers a scare at a time when they already were without right fielder Andre Ethier, who is on the disabled list with a broken bone in the little finger of his right hand, and shortstop Rafael Furcal, who is close to returning but for now remains out with a strained left hamstring.

"We're into little things here," Torre said. "We had a pinky, and now we have a little toe. Hopefully, that is the end of it."

Ramirez, as has been his habit since early in spring training, left the ballpark without speaking to reporters.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.