OAKLAND -- Catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been taking swings off soft-toss pitching the past two days, and he will progress to normal batting practice when the Rangers return to Arlington this week. If all goes well, Pierzynski could go on a medical rehab assignment Sunday and be activated on Tuesday.
That's the earliest day he can return after being sidelined with a strained oblique muscle in his right rib cage.
"It's definitely getting better," Pierzynski said. "We said at the time I did it, the doctors and the trainers said it would be a month, and Friday will be a month. I have been taking swings and they have been free and easy."
Pierzynski last played on May 5, but he tried to play through the injury for two weeks before finally going on the disabled list.
"I probably shouldn't have played with it, but what the heck," Pierzynski said. "Sometimes you have to take a step back before you take a step forward. I understand why they put me on the disabled list, but it's also really boring."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.