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Berkman determined to get bat back in lineup

Berkman determined to get bat back in lineup

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ARLINGTON -- Lance Berkman plans to continue rehabbing left hip inflammation that caused the designated hitter to contemplate retirement. He met with general manager Jon Daniels before Wednesday's game and felt his return was in the best interest of a club that didn't acquire a bat at the Trade Deadline and could lose Nelson Cruz pending the ongoing Biogenesis investigation.

"I'm coming back, but it just has to get to a point where I don't need a pinch-runner every time I'm on base," Berkman said.

Berkman has felt improvement over the last two days from the injury that put him on the disabled list on July 7. Berkman hit in the cages Wednesday and hit on the field Thursday, but his biggest concern was running. He said he's about 50 percent after running 60-yard strides 10 times Thursday. Berkman said the hip injury crept up on him when he attempted to increase the pace beyond that level.

"It's not unrealistic to expect discomfort from here on out, I've just got to manage it," Berkman said.

Berkman has set a personal goal to begin a medical rehabilitation assignment between Aug. 8-9. He's unsure if he'll hit that goal, but it'd likely make him available for an eight-game homestand that starts Aug. 13 against the Brewers.

"If I can push myself to endure a little discomfort, I'm willing to do that to help my team win," Berkman said.

Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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