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Freese thinks he'll be back when eligible

ANAHEIM -- The non-displaced fracture on David Freese's right middle finger, the result of a Colby Lewis fastball, landed him on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday.

But the veteran third baseman doesn't feel he'll be out much longer than two weeks.

Asked for his confidence level of being ready to return to the starting lineup by the time he's eligible, on May 18, Freese said: "Pretty high. You get in trouble throwing timetables out there, but that's what I hear."

Freese will have to wear a splint on his injured finger for the next couple days, but can do every baseball activity that doesn't involve his right hand -- including taking one-handed swings with his bottom hand, like Josh Hamilton is doing as he works his way back from surgery on his left thumb.

There was a slight chance Freese could've been ready in about a week, but the Angels couldn't afford to go that long without the roster spot.

"That's just the tough thing," Freese said. "With the 15-day DL, you have to make a choice. You can't wait around a week to really see. From what the doctors are saying, what they see, it's just one of those things where we'll get everything taken care of, and when it's tolerable, get back at it."

The decision will ultimately lie with the Angels' medical department, but Freese believes he can come back without going on a rehab assignment, "Because I can still take grounders, I can still run around, so the endurance factor is not going to be an issue," the 31-year-old said.

The injury comes as Freese was just starting to get hot at the plate, compiling six hits in his last 13 at-bats to raise his batting average to .202. But he believes he's figured something out that will allow him to pick up right where he left off.

"Early on, I was kind of forcing myself to stay so much inside the ball that I was overturning and I couldn't get the path that I normally like to the ball," Freese said. "Now, I feel more free up there. I'm seeing it and just putting good swings on baseballs that I know I can hit. Finding holes every now and then always helps, but I really got in a position to kind of just get my body free to attack the ball."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.
Read More: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, David Freese