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Rangers' Moreland could return sooner than planned

AP - Sports
Rangers' Moreland could return sooner than planned

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Texas Rangers designated hitter Mitch Moreland bats during the third inning of a baseball game against …

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland is considering a procedure on his ailing left ankle that could get him back on the field two months earlier than originally planned.

The team said Monday that Moreland could opt for a procedure to remove a bone in the back of the ankle rather than reconstructive surgery that would sideline him for three months. The shorter timetable is three to four weeks.

Moreland, who wasn't in the clubhouse when it was open to reporters Monday, said Sunday he could no longer play through pain he's been dealing with all season. He became the everyday first baseman when Prince Fielder decided on neck surgery that ended his season.

The loss of their top two first basemen has the Rangers scrambling to fill the spot. Donnie Murphy was set for his second straight start and third of the season against Cleveland in the finale of a four-game series Monday night. Murphy had never played first in the majors before.

Texas has another reasonable option in catcher Chris Gimenez, who has 22 career appearances at first in six big league seasons.

The Rangers didn't make a roster move for the second straight day, possibly because they're waiting on Jim Adduci, who has been on the disabled list since April 19 after breaking his left pinkie finger.

Adduci, who played four games at first for the Rangers last season, was close to being reactivated before reinjuring the finger on a minor league rehab assignment Saturday. The team is hoping the latest injury was a minor setback.

Rookie second baseman Rougned Odor, who sprained his right shoulder Sunday against Cleveland, is available off the bench after an MRI didn't reveal extensive damage.

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