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MLB notebook: Dodgers' Crawford may miss opener

| Friday, March 1, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford could miss his team's April 1 opener against San Francisco after leaving spring training to have his elbow examined in Los Angeles.

Recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery Aug. 23, Crawford felt nerve irritation in his left arm. The Dodgers said Friday he was examined a day earlier by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and told Crawford to rest.

Crawford was back in camp Friday and will not take batting practice or throw for about seven days, according to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Crawford will be able to participate in other drills.

Mattingly called the nerve irritation a “setback.”

“To be honest with you, Opening Day is a question,” Mattingly said

Reds sign Prior to minor league deal

Mark Prior is making yet another pitch to return to the big leagues. The 32-year-old Prior signed a minor league contract with the Reds, marking the fourth straight spring the oft-injured righty has tried a comeback.

Prior has not been in the majors since 2006. He pitched for Boston in Triple-A last season, making 19 relief appearances with a 3.96 ERA.

Cruz OK after chest pain

Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz was cleared of more serious issues after team doctors diagnosed a muscle strain in his chest.

Assistant general manager Thad Levine said Friday that Cruz was sent to a hospital to rule out anything else. The Rangers later said in a statement that several tests were negative and Cruz was being released after a stress test. He can resume baseball activities Saturday.

Cruz was set to leave Sunday to join the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic. He leads the Rangers with five RBI this spring training, although he's hitting just .214.

Cano not worried about contract

Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano says his contract status is on his mind, though not a distraction.

Cano is due $15 million in the final season of what became a $57 million, six-year deal and is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

A day after Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team had made a significant offer during the offseason to Cano's agent, Scott Boras, Cano declined to address the matter Friday but did say: “It's never going to go out of your head.”

Around the league

Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez could be sidelined one month because of a strained shoulder. ... Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said he will throw his second simulated game Sunday. ... Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija is a candidate to start Opening Day on April 1 at Pittsburgh. ... Mets OF Lucas Duda saw a doctor for an undisclosed medical condition and declared himself ready to play.

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