Zack Greinke returns to Dodgers, but when will he pitch?

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke returned to the Dodgers one day after he received a PRP injection in his ailing right elbow.

The right-hander had very little to say and was hesitant to offer rudimentary details about his condition, which the team announced Monday as inflammation in the back of his right elbow.

“I didn’t really know exactly what the problem is,” Greinke said before meeting with trainers. “I still don’t. They might. I’m just kind of going on what they’re saying to me.”

Asked if he could make his first scheduled start of the season April 2, he said “I don’t know that either.”

Greinke is a student of the game but not sports medicine, apparently. Before yesterday Greinke said he’d never heard of platelet-rich plasma injections, in which platelet cells are taken from the patient’s blood and injected into the injured area, where the cells help injuries heal faster.

We knew that for a while. I mean, I think we did. But it’s just kind of figuring out what to do with what it is.

“I never heard of it until (Chad) Billingsley got a couple of them last year, but it sounds like it makes a lot of sense, just the thought process of it,” Greinke said. “I don’t even know what it’s supposed to do.”

The injections worked wonders for Billingsley, who hasn’t had any setbacks in his off-season throwing program or in spring training, and appears like he’ll avoid season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Greinke is expected to rest for 2-3 days, then resume a throwing program. It’s still not clear how many Cactus League starts he’ll be able to make, if any. Greinke was scheduled to pitch in four exhibition games, including Monday against Milwaukee, before he was scratched the morning of his start.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.