Russell Martin working out with team

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin may not have to start the season on the disables list as was originally thought. However, he is expected to have a few rehab starts in the minor leagues before he is ready for prime time. Martin went down in the first exhibition game of the season after successfully stealing second base.

Initially, his groin pull was expected to take four to six weeks to heal properly. The platelet-rich plasma injection he received has promoted healing.

Martin has been working out with the team on the field for the past couple of days but Torre cautioned that the amount of playing time he can get in during spring training will be crucial.

With Opening Day looming in only two weeks, Torre said that the likelihood that Martin will require some extended spring training or Minor League rehab assignment will be necessary.

Martin caught more innings than any catcher in the Major Leagues last year, and reported to Spring Training with 25 pounds of added bulk after a rigorous offseason regimen designed to make him stronger. He rejects the thought that the extra muscle was the cause of the injury;

The two-time All-Star won a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove in 2007, but his offensive production slipped in both 2008 and 2009. In 2007 he hit .293 with 19 homers and 87 RBIs but in 2009 he hit .250 with seven homers and 53 RBIs. He has averaged 150 games played over the past three years, and led all Major League catchers with 414 starts and 3,693 innings caught.

His injury has given extra playing time to rookie A.J. Ellis, who has split the duties with veteren Brad Ausmus.