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Ankle sprain improving, Choo back in outfield

NEW YORK -- Shin-Soo Choo was back in the outfield for the Rangers on Monday night for the first time since July 9. He is still dealing with a sprained left ankle but wants to play in the outfield as much as possible for the rest of the season.

"I want to push it in the second half and find out," Choo said. "I don't want to play the second half like I played the first half."

Choo, who went into Monday's game against the Yankees hitless in his last 21 at-bats, sprained the ankle on April 21 in Oakland and has been dealing with pain since then. He now says he made a mistake by not going on the disabled list when the injury occurred.

"I made a bad decision," Choo said. "I should have had more rest instead of trying to come back as soon as possible."

With Alex Rios sidelined due to a sprained right ankle, Choo started in right field on Monday for the first time this season. Rangers manager Ron Washington used Choo at designated hitter for the last four games before the All-Star break and the three games in Toronto following the break to give Choo's ankle time to heal.

"It made my ankle feel better, but it's still not really comfortable," Choo said.

Washington said he used Choo in right field because at Yankee Stadium, there is less ground to cover in right field than left. But Washington said that when Rios returns to the lineup later this week, Choo will return to left field.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
Read More: Texas Rangers, Shin-Soo Choo