An injury report might be the most uninformative, essential piece of information a team can produce. It contains important facts, but few details and no emotions.

That Carl Crawford (Tommy John surgery) hasn't played a major-league game since Aug. 19, 2012 not only is a fact but an essential one since he's making more than $20 million this season to be the Dodgers' every-day left fielder.

The rehab process was invisible to fans, but it was not an unemotional process for Crawford. His feelings finally surfaced Sunday as he flied out to center in the first inning of the Dodgers' win over the Milwaukee Brewers and finished 0 for 3 as the designated hitter.

"My nerves were racing a little bit," said the 31-year-old veteran of 1,417 major-league games. "Once I got the first at-bat I felt better."

Crawford has been DH-ing in minor-league games since Tuesday. He still hasn't donned Dodger blue - the team wore green jerseys to commemorate St. Patrick's Day - but he'll get that chance today and Tuesday as the designated hitter against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland A's, respectively.

Throughout the week, Crawford said he felt no pain in his surgically repaired left elbow. However, he still is not being allowed to play the field and might not be able to by Opening Day, which is 14 days away.

"I'm pretty sure if I'm not available (to play the outfield) Opening Day, I'd be in the minor leagues," Crawford said.