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August 07, 2013

Rangers DH Lance Berkman makes progress, but isn't ready for rehab assignment

Lance Berkman continues to make progress on his way back from left hip inflammation, but the Rangers’ designated hitter said on Wednesday that he doesn’t have a clear idea of when he will go on a rehab assignment.

Berkman took early batting practice again but hasn’t run since Monday, and he’s only able to do that at 50 percent. He will try again Friday at Minute Maid park, but he had hoped to be going to Round Rock or Frisco.

The chances of him starting an assignment this weekend seem remote.

"I wouldn't rule out, but we'll have to see how it goes," said Berkman, who hasn't played since July 6. "You want to get out there as quick as you can. Not being 100 percent ready to go on a rehab assignment is not what I'd hoped, but it's not entirely unexpected."

The Rangers have used the DH spot to rotate everyday players through it for a rest day, but they will gladly take back Berkman’s veteran presence as regularly as his hip and achy right knee allow it.

But they aren't rushing Berkman back in the wake of the 50-game suspension Nelson Cruz started serving Monday.

"That's going to be based on what he can withstand," manager Ron Washington said. "If his bat can be as active as it was the first month of the season, darn right he's going to play. If his body can give us a month and a half, I want that month and a half."

-- Jeff Wilson

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