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Injury updates: Furcal, Lucas and Dobbs; Hand to start Saturday

JUPITER -- Rafael Furcal says he thinks he'll be ready for Opening Day. But if his injured left hamstring continues to balk, the Marlins will turn to Plan B, which would be handing the starting duties at second to either Derek Dietrich or Donovan Solano.

Furcal said Thursday the leg is feeling better but still doesn't know when he'll be able to return to game action. He said it's possible he'll play in a minor league game by the weekend and leadoff every inning as a designated hitter.

But that remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Ed Lucas (hamstring) is scheduled to play in a minor league game this afternoon up in Port St. Lucie and could be ready for Grapefruit League action by the weekend, as well.

And Greg Dobbs says his quad injury has improved. Dobbs will take part in the normal pre-game activities today and could be back in the lineup within a couple of days.

"I'll be ready to play (Opening Day)," Dobbs said.


Brad Hand will start one of the Marlins' two split-squad games on Saturday and throw 75 pitches. But that doesn't mean he'll be in the Marlins' starting rotation to start the season. Not necessarily.

Tom Koehler is also lined up to make the fifth start of the season. The Marlins may simply be continuing to keep Hand on that same path and build up his innings as a precaution in case one of the other starters goes down with an injury, as happened last year when Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi fell by the wayside at the end of spring.

Hand will start in Jupiter on Saturday when the Marlins face the Mets while Alvarez will get the ball in the other split-squad game when the Marlins face the Nationals in Viera. Kevin Slowey will follow Alvarez to the mound.