LOS ANGELES -- Third baseman Chase Headley wasn't in the Padres' starting lineup on Friday, though the stiffness in his lower back felt much better than it did two days ago.
Headley left Tuesday's game against the D-backs when his back stiffened after his second at-bat. He missed Wednesday's game and then got an additional day of rest Thursday when the team was off.
"It's felt better both days [Thursday and Friday]. It's improved," Headley said Friday before the Padres faced the Dodgers in the first game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
That was good news to his manager, Bud Black.
"Chase is doing better and has made a nice recovery in the last 24 hours," Black said. "A couple of days ago, I thought it might be three, four, five days. But he's in a good frame of mind."
Headley said the pain was at its worst late Tuesday and that it was centered in the lower-right portion of his back. He hasn't had any significant back injuries previously, so this came as a surprise.
Headley took early batting practice in the cage Friday and then was scheduled to take about 15 swings in regular batting practice on the field and take a few ground balls.
"If he makes the strides he's made the last day or so, he could be in there tomorrow," Black said.
Logan Forsythe got the start at third base on Friday.