Adrian Beltre must run bases fully

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said Saturday would be the earliest day he'd be cleared to go on a rehab assignment by the doctor, but that doesn't mean he'll be sent out that day.

He has to run the bases fully and manager Ron Washington and the training staff would have to sign off before he could play in a game.

"If it was up to me, I'd be playing right now," said Beltre, who admitted he was checking the Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco schedules to see where he might go.

Beltre, who was put on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain on July 23, must be able to run the bases at full speed before he can go out on a rehab assignment and he hasn't done that yet. He ran at about 75 percent on Monday and Tuesday and did not run on Wednesday.

"We wanted to give him an easy day," Washington said. "We jacked him up a few days in a row. We'll probably get him back jacked up tomorrow."

Washington didn't want to put a timetable on Beltre's return. He did say he's moving fine on defense as he takes grounders.

"The determining factor is cutting, stopping, starting on the bases," Washington said.

A few weeks ago, Beltre tried to run the bases at full speed as the last step before a rehab assignment and aggravated the injury. The Rangers want him taking it slower this time to be sure that doesn't happen again.

Beltre was hitting .276 with 20 homers and 76 RBIs in 100 games before the injury. At the time, he was leading the club in RBIs and was gobbling up balls at third base. He would be a big boost to the Rangers in September if he can return healthy.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.