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Infante not expected to return for Royals set

Tigers infielder slated to have injured ankle re-evaluated on Saturday

KANSAS CITY -- Omar Infante has a locker with his number in the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium, but it's empty. The way his recovery is going, that locker won't be filled for this three-game series against the Royals.

The Tigers were originally hoping they could get Infante back from the 15-day disabled list coming out of the All-Star break. Instead, he remained in Florida on Friday doing rehab work on his sprained left ankle.

"He's not ready," manager Jim Leyland said, "and I have no idea when."

Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand has the steps set for Infante's return, but no timetable. Infante will rejoin the Tigers on Saturday, but only for a re-evaluation on his ankle.

Rand said Infante has been running at half-speed and fielding ground balls side to side, and he began taking full batting practice on Thursday. Infante has been making progress, but will need to run at full speed to be ready for a rehab assignment.

"We have to evaluate him first," Rand said. "Once he's full-go, then he'll go out on a rehab assignment. He's not full-go yet."

Leyland said he "pretty much knew Sunday [Infante] wasn't going to be ready" coming out of the break.

Ramon Santiago started at second base for the Tigers on Friday night. Hernan Perez, called up when Infante went on the DL retroactive to July 4, remains on the big club.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
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