Hanley reveals he’s afraid of needles …


… and that he only needs a couple more days to get back into the lineup, which means he could be back at shortstop for the Dodgers by Monday night. Or at least that’s the way I interpreted it. Anyway, the soreness in his hamstring that was emanating from the irritated nerve in his back — something Hanley Ramirez said he has been playing with all year and most of last year — is gone now. The only soreness he still has now is from the dual cortisone injections he received simultaneously about an inch apart in his lower back.

He said when he first experienced this issue while with the then-Florida Marlins a couple of years ago, he declined to get a cortisone shot because he’s afraid of needles. Said that stems from his childhood, when he was frequently sick and consequently frequently poked with needles by medical people.

He also said he always knew this was a nerve issue, not a muscular issue.

“I knew it was a nerve,” he said. “I was going to keep playing like this, but I finally got to a point where I told myself I have to deal with this and get it fixed. When the playoffs come, I don’t want it to be like this.”

The question was asked whether Ramirez might be better off resting for several days just as a precaution before testing it again.

“I’m not the same player when I get so many days off,” he said. “It takes me a little while to get back my timing.”

All of that notwithstanding, Don Mattingly said Hanley will be “eased in” when he’s ready to play, meaning he’ll probably play a day, get a day off, maybe play a couple of days after that and then get another day off.

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