SAN DIEGO -- Bullpen coach Ken Howell rejoined the Dodgers Friday after missing three weeks because of complications of diabetes.

Howell had the tip of the big toe on his right foot removed because of a staph infection. Howell had a portion of an infected third toe on the same foot amputated in 2008, also the result of a diabetic staph infection.

"I'm back to 100 percent," said Howell. "The infection really got me down. I felt awful. But we think it's all gone and I'm glad to be back."

Howell, 49, pitched seven seasons in the Major Leagues, the first five with the Dodgers, and is in his third season as the big league pitching coach. He had been replaced by Jim Slaton, who returned as pitching coach at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Carroll taking advantage of playing time

SAN DIEGO -- Rafael Furcal's lingering hamstring injury means a few more starts at shortstop for Jamey Carroll.

While Furcal's been out, Carroll has hit .308 while committing two errors in 72 chances. During that time, the Dodgers have gone 9-6.

Although signed to a two-year free-agent contract as a utility man, Carroll still had to show the staff what he could do. Coming into this season, most of Carroll's Major League time was at second and third base.

"You hope they'd know from Spring Training, but this has been a good opportunity, coming to a new place, for them to see what I bring to the table," said Carroll, who played previously for Montreal/Washington, Colorado and Cleveland. "Hopefully this gives them a good take of who I am.

"It's not always pretty, but I compete. I'm happy with how I've played and how I've contributed. We need Raffy back, but I hope they have the confidence to use me the rest of the year in whatever situation comes up."

Kershaw continues to show resilience

SAN DIEGO -- Clayton Kershaw, only 22, seems to have a knack for bouncing back.

Last year, after allowing nine runs in 4 2/3 innings in Colorado, Kershaw, in his next start, threw seven scoreless innings against San Diego. This year, he followed the worst start of his career (seven runs, 1 1/3 innings against Milwaukee) with a two-hitter over eight scoreless innings against the Rockies.

"Whenever I have a good start or a bad start, I have the mindset that it's over after that day," said Kershaw. "You can't dwell on anything good or bad. Pitch bad, get rid of it and move on.

"For me, a bad start, I don't over-analyze it or try to find something I did badly and work on it for four days. It was a bad day. Take responsibility for it. But I got people out before, it doesn't have to carry over."

Kershaw said a confident approach is a necessity.

"I don't think you can doubt yourself and be successful," he said. "You have to have enough confidence in yourself to put it behind you and not let bad thoughts creep into your head and get to you."