VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) -Nomar Garciaparra's wrist is improving, but he's uncertain when he'll return to the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup.
The third baseman was hit by a pitch on his right wrist Friday during a game against St. Louis. X-rays were negative, although his wrist was bruised and swollen.
``It's improving every day, and that's one of the things we are looking for,'' Garciaparra said Tuesday.
The 34-year-old infielder hit in the batting cages Tuesday with the wrist wrapped.
Garciaparra was scratched from the team's trip to China. Exhibition games against the San Diego Padres are scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Beijing. A split-squad remains in Vero Beach for eight more games before finishing the spring in Arizona.
``That was pretty much our decision, not his, because if this thing for some reason doesn't get better, you'd rather have him here (in Vero Beach) to do further testing, so it makes sense,'' manager Joe Torre said.
Infielder Mark Sweeney, whose knee was drained last week, also will skip the trip, and minor League infielders Kevin Howard and Xavier Paul will replace the two veterans. A split-squad roster of 27 was to leave Vero Beach on Tuesday and fly out of Orlando on Wednesday.
``I wanted to go, I volunteered to go,'' Garciaparra said. ``But at the same time, when something like this happens that you can't avoid, you realize the more important things are your health.''

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