Ian Kinsler runs sprints, takes swings

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler ran sprints and took 100 swings in the batting cage Tuesday after an MRI exam showed significant improvement in his strained left groin that has kept him out of the lineup nearly a month.

Kinsler is hoping to be back in the pennant chase with the AL West-leading Rangers within about a week.

Kinsler missed his 25th game Tuesday night since going on the disabled list July 28. He missed the first 22 games this season after spraining his right ankle during spring training. He is hitting .298 with six home runs and 38 RBIs in his 76 games.

"I feel great," Kinsler said after his most extensive work since getting hurt. "It was a positive reaction. I'm healing up and everything looks to be in place and ready to start my third spring training for the year."

With the biggest division lead in baseball, 8 games going into their game against the Minnesota Twins, the Rangers can be cautious with Kinsler and their other injured players.

"We're going to make sure Kinsler's ready to go. His bottom half has to be ready to go," manager Ron Washington said. "We've got to get him ramped up with baseball stuff."

Kinsler said he wants to get on the field, and hopes Wednesday to run bases, take some ground balls and hit at batting practice outside.

If all goes well, Kinsler could begin a rehab assignment by this weekend.

"The last week or so I felt really good, felt great. The MRI proved it and being able to run proved it also," he said. "Right now, there's really no problems. I've just got to take my time getting in shape. I don't want to come back and pull a hamstring because I'm not in shape or something like that. Just make sure that my body's ready to go, that's the most important thing."

Asked how long that would take, Kinsler said, "less than a week."

The Rangers traded for Cristian Guzman to help fill the void, but Guzman is now on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps.

They made another roster move Tuesday, purchasing the contract of 13-year-veteran infielder Alex Cora from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room on the 40-man and active rosters, the Rangers designated infielder Joaquin Arias for assignment.

Cora, 34, joined the Rangers before Tuesday's game. He had been signed to a minor league contract last week and played six games at Oklahoma City.

Nelson Cruz is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, and eligible to return Monday. Washington said the right fielder is doing more agility work and running the bases harder in anticipation of beginning a rehab assignment Thursday.

"It's a little different with Nelson because Nelson just had inflammation in the hamstring," Washington said. "We were protecting him. He never stopped his work."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.