LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dodgers first baseman Nomar Garciaparra has a tear in his left quadriceps and won’t be in the lineup for Game 3 of the NL playoffs Saturday when Los Angeles tries to avoid getting swept by the New York Mets.

It’s unlikely Garciaparra would be able to start another game in the postseason, no matter how far the Dodgers advance, manager Grady Little said Friday.

“Let’s take tomorrow first,” Garciaparra said. “If we don’t get by tomorrow, that’s not even a question.”

Garciaparra said he sustained the tear while beating out an infield hit in Thursday night’s 4-1 loss at New York.

Garciaparra, the No. 3 hitter in the Dodgers’ lineup, strained his quadriceps Sept. 15 during a game against San Diego, and had been hampered by the injury since that time.

Little said an MRI exam Friday revealed the tear. He said that Garciaparra could pinch-hit, but would require a pinch-runner if he got on base.

“We’ll be real selective as to when he’ll take that swing,” Little said.

Little said he was considering several options for the No. 3 spot in the lineup, including rookie James Loney, who will play first base; outfielder Marlon Anderson, and second baseman Jeff Kent.

If it was Kent, he would shift from fourth to third, with J.D. Drew moving up from fifth to fourth.

“That one’s got my vote,” Garciaparra said.

The Mets won the first two games at Shea Stadium in the best-of-five series. Garciaparra hurt himself in the fourth inning and left in the sixth after limping to first on a groundout.

The 33-year-old Garciaparra, 2-for-8 with two RBIs in the series, said his quadriceps is not completely torn, and he wants to prevent that from happening.

“Then the only way to repair it would be surgically,” he said. “I’m at the stage right now that you don’t need surgery and time heals this. So that’s where I stand. I knew there was a risk when I strained it to begin with and kept playing.

“I’ve been getting treatment all day and all night, I was getting treatment on the plane as we were flying in for five hours. And we’re going to keep working on it. Obviously, it’s disappointing. I want to be out there, especially now. That’s what you play for,” he said.

Steve Trachsel will make his first postseason start as the Mets go for the sweep against 40-year-old Greg Maddux, who has 333 career wins and a 3.07 lifetime ERA.

Maddux is 11-14 with a 3.22 ERA in the postseason.

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