LOS ANGELES -- All-Star right fielder Andre Ethier was back in the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup on Monday a day after being held out because of a sore right knee that will require surgery, but apparently not until after the season.
Ethier was set to bat fifth against the San Diego Padres in the opener of a series between the two worst teams in the NL West. He declined to discuss the situation with reporters, saying, "There's nothing to talk about."
Dodgers trainer Stan Conte also declined comment, leaving manager Don Mattingly to address the situation that erupted Sunday, when Ethier implied in comments published in the Los Angeles Times that he didn't want to finish out the season.
"I got to go by what he tells me in all my conversations," said Mattingly, who had said he felt "blindsided" by the comments in the Times column. "There's been no talk of him wanting to be done."
Mattingly, along with general manager Ned Colletti, met privately with Ethier on Sunday to reaffirm that when Mattingly asks the slugger how he's feeling "that you're going to tell me the truth."
Mattingly said surgery on Ethier's knee is being discussed, but that by continuing to play the right fielder isn't going to cause further damage to his knee.
"It's something that's going to happen fairly quickly after the season," he said, adding that he believes it's a cleanup-type procedure.
With the Dodgers mired near the bottom of the NL West, Mattingly was asked why Ethier isn't shut down now.
"I'm fine with that if that's what everybody wants to do," the rookie manager said. "It's always his choice."
Ethier is batting .286 with 10 home runs and 51 RBI in 127 games, and had a 30-game hitting streak early in the season, but has slumped since the All-Star break. He has not committed an error all season.
"It hasn't been the year he's capable of, but it's not been horrible," Mattingly said.