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Beltre, Berkman sit out first intrasquad game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers held their first intrasquad game on Tuesday without third baseman Adrian Beltre and designated hitter Lance Berkman.

Beltre is dealing with a strained right calf muscle and also got hit in the lip by a ground ball during Tuesday morning's workout. The injury wasn't serious, but it did draw blood.

Berkman is coming back from surgery on his right knee, and the Rangers are taking it slow with him. Berkman said he could be ready by Friday, when the Rangers open the Cactus League season against the Royals. But manager Ron Washington said he's not inclined to rush either player into the lineup at this point of the spring.

"It's good ... it's coming along," Berkman said. "It's not where it's going to be a month from now, but it's making progress. I'm pretty pleased with how it feels."

The Rangers play 38 exhibition games before the start of the regular season. That's the most ever scheduled in a normal Spring Training.

"They are slow pacing," Washington said. "This is not that important."