NLCS 2013: Dodgers' Andre Ethier could start Game 1

USA TODAY Sports

Ethier was relegated to pinch-hitting duties in the NLDS, but looks to be near full strength as the Dodgers postseason run continues.

Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder Andre Ethier was able to run down fly balls in the outfield during a Wednesday workout and could start Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday, reports MLB.com.

More Dodgers coverage: True Blue L.A.

Ethier was able to sprint at full speed during the workouts, one of the biggest challenges as he has been hobbled by a sprained left ankle. The team kept him on their roster for the Divisional Series, but he was limited to a pinch-hitting role. In four plate appearances against the Braves, he walked once and struck out once.

"We feel pretty good that he's definitely going to be able to do more than he was able to do the last series," manager Don Mattingly told reporters. "We feel like there's going to be a lot more scenarios where Andre is going to be involved."

A return to the starting lineup by Ethier could be an immense help to the Dodgers as they take on the Cardinals. With Matt Kemp out for the season, Los Angeles has been starting Skip Schumaker in the postseason. Schumaker hit for a 665 OPS in the regular season and went 3-13 in the NLDS.

Ethier has typically been a corner outfielder in his career, but started 70 games in center in 2013 with Carl Crawford in left and Yasiel Puig in right. He hit .272/.360/.423 with 12 homers over 142 regular season games.

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