Gonzalez confident he'll return to lineup after fouling pitch off his knee

Dodger fans found themselves fiddling their fingers when Adrian Gonzalez left Thursday's game early with an injury, but the first baseman assures it's not serious.

In the third inning of the Dodgers' 1-0 win over the Reds in Cincinnati on Thursday, Gonzalez fouled a ball off his knee (watch here), and was seen wincing in pain after the incident.

While he finished his at-bat and returned to the field the following inning, Gonzalez was removed from the game in the fifth inning and replaced by Scott Van Slyke at first base, leaving fans to speculate the severity of his injury as the season enters the homestretch.

However, the Dodgers' top run producer affirmed that he won't miss any time because of the injury, and manager Don Mattingly called the decision to remove him from the game "precautionary."

"It's good," Gonzalez said. "It started to swell a little bit and we didn't want it to swell too much. Take today off and be able to play [Friday] rather than play the rest of the game not feeling good."

Gonzalez is having another productive season at the plate for the Dodgers, leading the team in home runs (24) and RBI (74), with a .286/.360/.509 split line.

He said after the game that he is "100 percent" certain he'll return to the lineup on Friday, when the Dodgers open a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.