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Is Andre Ethier Faking Injury?

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(CBS) – Andre Ethier says he’s been struggling since the All-Star break because the Dodgers refuse to shut him down, despite having a sore right knee.

Ethier told the LA Times on Sunday, “If you’re expecting me to do what I’ve done in the past, no, there’s no possible way I can do that right now. You can say tough it out and give it your best shot, but it’s not going to happen,” Ethier said.

“I’ve dealt with it all season long, but as the season goes on my body wears down. That’s just the way it is — I keep getting put in the lineup, so what am I supposed to do?”

With the team all but out of the race in the NL West, there is no reason to keep pushing Ethier, that is unless you don’t believe he is hurt.

“What am I supposed to be concerned about?” General Manager Ned Colletti said (LATimes.com). “That he has those numbers [since the All-Star break], that he’s hurt or contends he’s hurt?”

Ethier is not at the ballpark for the Sunday finale against Colorado where Don Mattingly spoke with reporters before the game, having no knowledge about any of this.

“I was a little taken back by it,” Mattingly said. “I talked to ‘Dre about it to see if he felt that the way it came out was accurate. To me, the way I read it, was that ‘Dre’s been telling us he can’t play and we just said: `Well, you’re playing, anyway.’ And that’s definitely not the case. I would never do that. That’s not part of my DNA.

“If a guy tells me he can play, then he can play. From our standpoint, we’ve constantly checked to make sure he’s OK. I’d rather lose my job and us not win than put a guy out there who has a chance of hurting himself and doing something that would affect his career in a long-term way in any way, shape or form — especially if he says, `Hey, I can’t go.’ To me, that takes a shot at my integrity, the organization, the training staff and Ned. But it really gets back to me, personally — that I would put a guy out there that was hurt and was taking a shot at hurting his career. I would never do that. And I told ‘Dre that, too.”

 “We know he’s got a knee thing going on and that it’s kind of affected his swing some. So if he’s not doing some of the things we know he’s capable of, then you know there’s something going on.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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