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Cruz aiming at Tuesday return

9/11/2011

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz said his is shooting for a Tuesday return from the disabled list. Cruz went on the DL on Aug. 29 after suffering a left hamstring strain.

The Rangers begin a three-game series with the Indians on Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark following a Monday off day.

“I expect to be able to play by Tuesday,’’ Cruz said a few hours before Sunday’s game. “I’m not going to say I’ll be 100 percent, because I’ll have to be smart on the bases like Adrian [Beltre] is doing. That’s the way hamstrings go. And when you can’t go full out, you’re not 100 percent.’’

Cruz said he doesn’t feel like he will be limited to designated hitter duty when he returns.

“I feel like I can play in the outfield,’’ he said. “I’ve been shagging fly balls.’’

In 113 games, Cruz is batting .270 with 28 home runs and 84 RBIs.

Cruz missed 17 games in May when he went on the disabled list for a strained right quadriceps muscle. Cruz was 2-for-19 in his first four games after his return from the DL.