Scott Van Slyke could rejoin the Dodgers next week.

The Dodgers return from a seven-game road trip to New York and Chicago on June 3 for a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves. That’s the earliest Scott Van Slyke will be back in uniform, manager Dave Roberts said.

Van Slyke, who is batting second and playing first base for Oklahoma City today, figures to remain with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate until then.

“We still want performance, for him to be swinging the bat well,” Roberts said.

Van Slyke hasn’t played since he suffered a lower back injury the first week of the season.

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Brandon McCarthy throws a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium.

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy hasn’t pitched this season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in April 2015. (Associated Press photo)

Reports of Brandon McCarthy‘s demise might have been premature.

The right-handed pitcher threw a short bullpen session today at Dodger Stadium, about 25 to 30 pitches, according to a team spokesperson. He took a brief step back from his every-fifth-day throwing program last week, then resumed playing long toss Monday.

McCarthy wasn’t in the Dodgers clubhouse or on the field during media availability Tuesday. A week ago he said that he would need two or three more mound sessions against live hitters before going out on a minor league rehab assignment. If that’s still the case, McCarthy might only be weeks away from his rehab assignment — a fairly insignificant setback as Tommy John surgery processes go.

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The Dodgers will continue with an eight-man bullpen on the road.

The Dodgers have had four position players on their bench, and eight pitchers in their bullpen, ever since Charlie Culberson was optioned to Triple-A last week. Manager Dave Roberts said last week the plan called for the Dodgers to add a position player Friday, when the team begins a seven-game road trip to New York and Chicago.

Tuesday, Roberts said the Dodgers will continue with an eight-man bullpen/four-man bench through next week.

“I still think we’re going to stick with that,” he said. “We’re managing to get through with a four-man bench, and just giving us the flexibility with different guys in the pen is more of a priority.”

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Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir still can’t swing a bat.

Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir has been limited to bunting, and half-bunting/half-swinging, when he bats recently. It’s the most visible consequence of a thumb/hand injury that’s bothered him this season.

A couple weeks back Kazmir told me he would resume swinging this week, after his start in San Diego. That hasn’t happened yet. During batting practice today Kazmir was still doing the half-bunt, half-swing thing. It’s almost like a slap bunt but it looks more like a swing than that.

What does he call it, exactly?

“I don’t know,” he said. “Whatever works.”

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