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Blalock hoping to return in two weeks

Blalock hoping to return in two weeks

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers infielder Hank Blalock said he is hoping to play in two weeks, after undergoing carpal tunnel release surgery on his right wrist last Friday.

Blalock, who is expected to play first base when he returns, was originally placed on the disabled list on April 29 with a partially torn hamstring. Blalock was expecting to return to the lineup last week when the Rangers were in Cleveland, but he experienced soreness and discomfort in his wrist while rehabbing at the Rangers' Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz. on May 19.

Instead of playing through the injury and risking further injury, Blalock opted for surgery.

"It's frustrating, but there's nothing I can do about it," Blalock said. "My hand feels great now, and I just have to wait for the incision to heal. Hopefully, that'll heal fast and I can get back out there.

"In 10 days, I'm cleared to do anything [baseball-related]. The only thing we're worried about is it getting infected. I need to keep it clean. I could be back as early as two weeks if everything heals correctly, which is what I'm shooting for."

Blalock, who was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004, was hitting .299 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 22 games before landing on the DL.

Blalock is still expected to move to first base, which is currently occupied by Frank Catalanotto and Chris Shelton.

Ramon Vazquez has been the primary third baseman, but is expected to share time with Travis Metcalf, who was recently recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma. At Triple-A, Metcalf was hitting .238 with three doubles and eight RBIs in 11 games.

"[Metcalf] thinks he belongs here, and he's going to be fine," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's more confident [defensively], and I don't think you'll see that tentativeness that you saw last year."

Drew Davison is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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