Laird, Blalock eyeing second-half return

Laird, Blalock eyeing second-half return

ARLINGTON -- Catcher Gerald Laird, on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring muscle, was sent to Arizona on Thursday to continue his rehabilitation work.

The plan is for Laird to spend a week at the Rangers training facility in Surprise, then rejoin the team in Minnesota next Thursday and Friday after the All-Star break. Laird will work out with the Rangers for two days and then go on a rehabilitation assignment in the Minor Leagues somewhere.

He has been on the DL since June 21.

"It's obvious we miss Gerald," manager Ron Washington said. "We miss his experience."

The Rangers also have a plan for infielder Hank Blalock, who has been on the DL since the end of April because of a torn hamstring and then a wrist injury that required surgery.

Blalock is expected to play three games with Double-A Frisco beginning on Monday and then, if all goes well, he could be activated when the second half starts on Friday. At that point he will become the Rangers' first baseman and the club will have to make a decision on Chris Davis.

But Washington remains adamant that Blalock will go right back into the lineup once he is off the disabled list.

"If Hank is ready, I want Hank," Washington said.

As far as Davis, Washington said, "We -- as an inner circle -- will discuss that and see where we go with that."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.