LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will have another veteran bat to plug into the lineup Tuesday, when Nomar Garciaparra is expected to return from the disabled list.

The shortstop has been out since July 28 with a left knee strain he suffered while covering third base in a game against the Nationals. It was the third trip to the DL this season for Garciaparra, who missed 62 games with a strained left calf and 14 games at the beginning of the year with a broken bone in his right hand.

"He seems comfortable," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "As I said, he probably didn't need this long, but where we were at the time, he basically agreed to go on because our situation at the time. He was hurt, but we probably could have had him back a couple of days ago."

Garciaparra was sent to the disabled list on Aug. 1 to make room on the roster for Manny Ramirez. Torre said the team likely will make a similar move Tuesday to free up a spot with Andruw Jones slated as a candidate for the DL. Jones, who is 1-for-16 in his past 10 games, has soreness in his surgically repaired right knee.

The season has been a source of frustration for Garciaparra, who has yet to log a full season since joining the Dodgers prior to 2006. Garciaparra hit .303 with 20 homers and 93 RBIs in 121 games in 2006 to win the Comeback Player of the Year honors but went to the DL twice that season.

Last year, Garciaparra hit seven homers with 59 RBIs in 122 games that also included time missed to the disabled list.

With 27 games played this season that has produced a .279 average and five home runs, Garciaparra is familiar with the inactivity, but he'd rather be on the field.

"I hate it," Garciaparra said. "I watch and I don't like it."