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Napoli must clear two obstacles in order to return

Napoli must clear two obstacles in order to return

Napoli must clear two obstacles in order to return
CLEVELAND -- Mike Napoli is running without pain, but not at full speed, and not around the bases. And those are the final hurdles he'll have to jump before he is ready to come off the disabled list.

Napoli has been sidelined with a strained left quad since Aug. 11, although the injury has bothered him for most of the season. He tested the muscle with some "straight ahead" running on Friday at Progressive Field.

"It felt good, but it wasn't full running," Napoli said. "I didn't feel anything. It was a good day, so we didn't want to push it."

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Napoli also "tracked pitches" in the bullpen -- standing at the plate while pitchers throw as a way to work on regaining his timing.

The Rangers want Napoli to go on a rehab assignment, but it won't be before Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco finish their regular seasons on Monday. Napoli could play for Frisco in the Texas League playoffs, but first he must be able to run the bases at full speed without any issues.

"It would be nice to get some at-bats, but if I don't, I feel I could go in there and battle some way," he said.

Geovany Soto and Luis Martinez have been handling the catching duties while Napoli has been sidelined. The Rangers are expected to add a catcher, possibly Brandon Snyder, on Saturday when rosters are expanded.

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