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After nearly two months, Berkman returns to action

After nearly two months, Berkman returns to action

After nearly two months, Berkman returns to action

OAKLAND -- Lance Berkman is back in the lineup for the Rangers as their designated hitter. He was batting eighth on Monday against the Athletics.

It's the first time he has played since going on the disabled list on July 7 with inflammation in his left hip. He also continues to deal with chronic soreness in his right knee.

"Ready or not, here we go," Berkman said. "I think I'm beyond the point of getting too hyped up. More than anything, just go out and compete and do the best I can."

Berkman played in four games on medical rehabilitation assignment but the last one was on Aug. 14. Since then he has been taking batting practice daily with the Rangers while waiting for September and the rosters to expand.

He was 4-for-11 with a home run in his Minor League time with Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco. He was hitting .254 with six home runs, 34 RBIs and a .377 slugging percentage in 68 games for the Rangers before going on the disabled list.

"I don't know how right I will be at first, but if I can have enough opportunities, I should be sufficient in my role," Berkman said.

Manager Ron Washington said he would like to use Berkman both Monday and Tuesday to see how he responds after his long layoff. Beyond that, Washington isn't sure how much Berkman will play.

"He's ready to go so I'm going to put him in there, let him see pitches and see how he does," Washington said. "He has a lot of experience. He's not going to be awed. He'll make it work. He's been around a long time. I'm not putting any expectations on him. I'll just watch and judge and leave it up to him. Whatever he gives us."

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.

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