Dodgers’ Crawford (elbow) cleared to throw, hit

la-dodgers-300Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Carl Crawford has been cleared to begin throwing and hitting on Thursday after missing six days with nerve irritation in his surgically repaired left elbow.

Crawford still will have difficulty being ready by Opening Day — he might not play in a Cactus League game for a week or more — but it gives him a sliver of hope.

“He’s doing good. He’s not feeling anything at all,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He’ll be monitored though.”

Crawford’s work has been confined to conditioning, baserunning and tracking balls in a batting cage for the past week. He had Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery last August, days before his trade to the Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox.