News on Ethier could be worse

The news on Andre Ethier -- for now, at least -- could be much worse for the Dodgers.

An examination on Sunday revealed that the star outfielder did, in fact, break a bone in his right pinkie finger during batting practice on Saturday. (He bats and throws left-handed.)

The team said Sunday that Ethier, one of the best players in baseball this year, is considered day-to-day. While not exactly a clean bill of health, the statement leaves open the possibility that Ethier could return within the next week or so. At this point, a trip to the disabled list is not inevitable.

The next step is for team officials to see if Ethier, 28, can tolerate the pain while swinging a bat and catching balls.

Ethier hasn't played since Friday but still leads the National League in the Triple Crown categories: .392 average, 11 home runs, 38 RBIs. As long as his absence isn't too long, Ethier should become a first-time All-Star this year.

He's obviously a crucial player for the Dodgers, who have won seven straight to pull within two games of San Diego for the National League West lead.