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Headley's return from injury rehab expected any day

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LOS ANGELES --The Padres set aside a locker for Chase Headley in the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium on Monday, and the injured third baseman could join the club for the final two games of a three-game series against the Dodgers.

Headley continued his Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Lake Elsinore on Monday night and went 1-for-3, playing seven innings at third base. Padres manager Bud Black said it's possible that Headley could join the club in Los Angeles on Tuesday or Wednesday, barring a setback in the rehab of his fractured left thumb.

"He's close [to returning]," Black said before Monday's 6-3 win over the Dodgers. "We don't know when. He's got to feel comfortable where he is."

Headley injured his thumb on March 17 during a Spring Training game against the Angels. He began his rehab assignment on Friday, and went 1-for-3 with a double as the designated hitter for Lake Elsinore. He started at third on Sunday, played seven innings and went 0-for-3.

The Padres have certainly missed Headley's presence in the lineup through the first two weeks of the season -- he had 31 home runs and 115 RBIs in 2012. But San Diego has also missed his defense at third base.

Jedd Gyorko and Jesus Guzman combined for three errors at third base against the Rockies over the weekend. Both Gyorko and Guzman are inexperienced at the hot corner and are playing there with Headley sidelined.

"We've got to hold the fort a little bit until we get our roster back in order, especially on the position-player side," Black said.

Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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