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Hanley Ramirez plans early return

Updated: April 17, 2013, 10:20 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez said Tuesday he expects to be back "way sooner" than mid-May, which was the original target date for his return to the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup from surgery on his right thumb.

Ramirez has begun taking batting practice and fielding grounders. The team has outfitted him with a special splint that allows him to throw while protecting his surgically repaired right thumb.

"It's awesome. No pain, nothing," Ramirez said Tuesday. "Definitely it's ...

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