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A. Beltre hoping to return to lineup this week

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre is hoping to return to the Rangers' lineup on Thursday. Beltre has been sidelined with a tight left quad muscle and was out of the lineup for the fourth straight day on Monday even though he continues to report improvement.

"I thought about playing tonight, but the medical staff wants to wait until Thursday," Beltre said. "It's Spring Training, and they don't want to rush it. Besides, they're playing better without me."

The Rangers have split-squad games on Tuesday, with a day game against the Brewers in Phoenix and a night game in Surprise against the Cubs. Then they are off on Wednesday before playing the Reds on Thursday in Goodyear. After the off-day, the Rangers have 10 games left until the start of the regular season. Beltre was 5-for-23 in 10 games before hurting his quad muscle.

"I don't feel like I want to feel but I feel OK," Beltre said. "I know what I have to do. If the season started tomorrow, I would be ready. I'd be able to turn on the switch."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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