Cruz's return close; more time for Kinsler

Cruz's return close; more time for Kinsler

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, is expected to be sent out on a medical rehabilitation assignment on Thursday and should be activated on Monday.

Ian Kinsler will not be that quick, even though he received good news after having an MRI exam on his strained left groin muscle Tuesday. The MRI showed significant improvement, and Kinsler resumed taking batting practice on Tuesday and running sprints in the outfield.

Kinsler will continue to increase his workouts as the week progresses, but the Rangers are going to be extra careful with him. They realize that if he suffers another leg injury, he could be through for the season.

"I need to take my time to get into shape," Kinsler said. "I don't want to pull a hamstring because I'm not in shape. I want to make sure my body is ready to go."

Cruz is different than Kinsler. Cruz went on the DL on Aug. 16 as a precautionary measure, but never really stopped working out. He shouldn't need as much time to get ready.

"I haven't had any issues," Cruz said. "I've been running since I've been on the DL."

Kinsler has done almost nothing to this point since being placed on the DL on July 29. He also missed the first month of the season with a sprained ankle that really took six weeks to heal. One more injury could easily end his season even if the Rangers make the playoffs.

"We're going to make sure Kins is ready to go," manager Ron Washington said. "His bottom half has to be ready to go."