Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier returned to LA on Wednesday for further tests on his injured left ankle, putting his availability for the first round of the playoffs in serious question. 

The 31-year-old Ethier has been dealing with the injury since mid-September and has logged only one plate appearance since suffering the injury.

He was examined and underwent MRI and CT scans which showed that the injury had improved but not completely healed and that Ethier will be able to continue to hit and throw.

He will be cleared to resume playing when he is able to run the bases without pain.

Before the Dodgers' game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park manager Don Mattingly admitted to being concerned about Ethier's likely availability for the playoffs.

"Yeah, I'm a little worried about him, just because it didn't look very good yesterday and he wasn't running very hard when it happened," he said. 

The Dodgers only have four regular-season games remaining after Wednesday' game and if Ethier cannot run he is in danger of being excluded from the 25-man playoff roster.

"It's tough to think you wouldn't play healthy," Mattingly said.

"You don't really want to play short." 

Should Ethier return in time for the playoffs, the Dodgers will have a tough decision to make about who to sit in the outfield among Ethier, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford.

Mattingly has had all four players available for only two games this season. 

He said: "Hopefully, I have that problem. I'd like to have that problem to deal with."

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