Don Mattingly: Hanley Ramirez will play this weekend.

Hanley Ramirez

Speaking earlier today on “Ripken Baseball,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Cal and Billy Ripken on SiriusXM that Hanley Ramirez will play this weekend.

Ramirez has been taking ground balls and swinging a bat already, but hasn’t seen live game action since he tore a ligament in his right thumb in March. On Thursday, Ramirez indicated on his Twitter account that he would begin his rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Here’s the entirety of Mattingly’s quote:

“Hanley’s close. It sounds like this weekend at some point they are going to allow him to go out and play. We’re just trying to figure out how many days he’s going to need. They’re kinda still redoing this little splint that he has to wear. The swelling went down in that thumb and so the splint’s not quite fitting right and its rubbing him in different spots. So he’s trying to work that splint out while we continue to get him ready. Once he’s back he’s going to be playing short and then I’m just going to continue to have to keep figuring out third base. Hanley’s pretty much been a shortstop his whole life. A lot of people don’t think he’s a good shortstop. We’ve kinda seen the contrary from Hanley just from his work. He’s one of those guys, for me, if he’ll work at it he can do anything. He’s got that much talent. So he’s been really working hard for us. He’s been a joy for me as a manager, to be honest with you. He’s got a good attitude, he’s worked hard every day and we feel like this guy’s a great player. So we’re looking to get him back and have him playing short.”

Rancho Cucamonga is playing Lake Elsinore this weekend in a three-game homestand beginning today.

Ramirez has said that he wants to debut with the Dodgers next Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies, his bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, 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.