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Choo back in left, ankle at 80-percent health

Choo back in left, ankle at 80-percent health play video for Choo back in left, ankle at 80-percent health

ANAHEIM -- Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was back in the lineup on Saturday night, but still not 100 percent while dealing with a sore left ankle. Choo, playing left field for the first time since April 21, had to leave Friday's game in the seventh inning because the ankle was sore.

"I think I'm feeling much better than yesterday," Choo said before the game Saturday. "I'm more comfortable. Yesterday, walking was uncomfortable."

Choo estimated he is running at 80 percent. That's good enough for the Rangers, who need their leadoff hitter in the lineup. Choo was 3-for-4 on Friday night, and his sixth-inning leadoff home run sparked the Rangers' comeback after they trailed, 2-0.

The Rangers also know Choo is not going to be 100 percent unless he goes on the disabled list, and that's not going to happen unless he does something to aggravate the injury.

"It probably will linger," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We're talking about his ankle, so we'll see. As long as he's playing, I don't see how it will get 100 percent. But he can perform, so we'll see.

"He's probably going to get more DH days than we want and he wants. But you've got to do what you have to do."

Choo originally hurt the ankle trying to beat out an infield hit in a game against the Athletics on April 21. Choo, who hurt the ankle stepping on first base awkwardly, was out of the lineup for six straight games, then was used at designated hitter on Tuesday and Wednesday against Oakland. He went into Saturday's games ninth in the American League with a .325 batting average, and second with a .446 on-base percentage.

"It will take some time, but I'm going to keep playing," Choo said. "Hopefully, I won't make it worse, and it will get better."

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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