- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing the last three games with a sprained right ankle suffered in his first at-bat last Saturday in Toronto against the Blue Jays.
Rios, who had his ankle wrapped Wednesday, is in right field and batting third against the New York Yankees.
"I feel pretty good and I feel I can perform, and hopefully it won't give me any problems on the field," Rios said. "I wasn't 100 percent (Tuesday) and I wanted to take care of it and not push it too hard."
Rios was available as a pinch hitter in Tuesday's 14-inning loss to the Yankees but wasn't used. On the season Rios has a .302/.435/.330 slash line with four homers and 42 RBIs.
Rios has also been the subject of trade rumors and was asked about one report that said the talks were affecting his focus.
"I don't know where this comes from, I don't know," Rios said. "It's not true. It's something that I haven't said. It's something that doesn't affect me."
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he's open to trading players who are entering the final year of their contracts. Rios has a team option of $13.5 million in 2015 with a $1 million buyout. He also has the right to block a trade to Arizona, Colorado, Houston, Kansas City, Oakland and the New York Yankees.
"You know what, you think about it sometimes," Rios said of the trade rumors. "You read about (it) and people talk about it and you know what's going on, but I don't think it's a factor to affect you performing on the field.
"People use it as an excuse. Sometimes they go through a slump and they blame it on trade talks or they think you're thinking about that and its affecting you, and that's not true. When you're on the field, you focus on the field (and) on the things that you have to do."
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