BOSTON -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler is not 100 percent, but he is headed to Arizona in his next step to get back on the field.
Kinsler, who has been sidelined since March 12 with a sprained right ankle, flew to Arizona on Wednesday night and will be there through the weekend as he begins playing in extended spring training games.
Kinsler will start out as a designated hitter in a game on Thursday and then work his way into the field. Extended spring games are like "B" games in March. There are no specific regulations governing lineups, so Kinsler can bat leadoff every inning, play the field when he wants to and be used at designated hitter if needed.
That's why Kinsler is starting out in Arizona. Sometime next week, he could join either Double-A Frisco or Triple-A Oklahoma City on a medical rehabilitation assignment and possibly be activated by the Rangers on their next road trip to Seattle and Oakland from April 30 to May 5.
"He's been out five weeks," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We're not going to make up for lost time, but we want to get him in as many game situations as possible. We're not putting a definite timeline on it. We want him to get at-bats, get some games in at second base, build up endurance and continue to get his work in."
Kinsler went through another extensive workout at Fenway Park before Wednesday's game. Kinsler still feels the ankle when he is accelerating and stopping while running the bases, but the Rangers think it's time to get him to Arizona for some games.
"If we wait until he's 100 percent, he may never get there," manager Ron Washington said. "He's got to go out and see what he can do. We have to find out what level he can play. He's going to be OK."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.