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Servais 'optimistic' Segura won't be out long

Shortstop suffered a high-ankle sprain on a slide Thursday
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Jean Segura won't pick up a bat or begin baseball-related activities until later this week, but manager Scott Servais said Tuesday he's optimistic his injured shortstop won't be sidelined as long as the early projection of a month or two that was bandied about after the 27-year-old sprained his right ankle last week.

Segura, who is leading the American League in hitting with a .341 average, is out of his walking boot and beginning to rehab the high-ankle sprain he suffered Thursday on a slide more aggressively this week.

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SEATTLE -- Jean Segura won't pick up a bat or begin baseball-related activities until later this week, but manager Scott Servais said Tuesday he's optimistic his injured shortstop won't be sidelined as long as the early projection of a month or two that was bandied about after the 27-year-old sprained his right ankle last week.

Segura, who is leading the American League in hitting with a .341 average, is out of his walking boot and beginning to rehab the high-ankle sprain he suffered Thursday on a slide more aggressively this week.

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"He's back to a normal gait with his walk," Servais said. "He's not running or anything yet, but we'll pick up the intensity in his workout in the pool and weight room the next day or two. I'm optimistic. I don't think he's going to be out as long as was initially said, but that's just going off of what Jean is telling me and how he's feeling.

"Sometimes the last part of the rehab with the high-ankle sprain can be the most difficult; when you start doing the cutting and lateral movement. But he's kind of ahead of schedule, if you can say that after 4-5 days."

Segura is one of 10 Mariners currently on the disabled list.

Iwakuma, Smyly progressing slowly

While James Paxton is back in the rotation and Felix Hernandez is making his first of two rehab starts with Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday night, the Mariners are still waiting on veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma and lefty Drew Smyly.

Iwakuma, sidelined since May 3 with a right shoulder issue, threw a 15-pitch simulated inning on Saturday and will throw a longer simulated outing sometime this week, but "still has a ways to go before he gets to a rehab [stint]," Servais said.

Smyly hasn't pitched since the final week of Spring Training due to a left elbow strain, but has been throwing flat-ground sessions nearly every day for the past few weeks and was up to about 120 feet on Tuesday.

Servais confirmed that Smyly is likely looking at a July return at the earliest, possibly after the July 10-13 All-Star break.

"He's picking up the intensity on his throwing program," Servais said. "He's not on the mound yet and until he gets on a mound and throws a bullpen, you can't project. The longer it goes, the more you start looking at the All-Star break. But I don't know anything definite yet.

"He hasn't had any setbacks. He wants to get out there and pitch and contribute. That's certainly why we acquired him. But there's more frustration than anything else because he wants to get out there and get after it."

Worth noting

• When Nelson Cruz hit his 100th home run for the Mariners in his 362nd game with the franchise on Sunday, he tied for the sixth-fewest games to reach the century mark with a team in Major League history.

Babe Ruth reached 100 homers in his first 250 games with the Yankees in 1921, Alex Rodriguez did it in 295 games with the Rangers in 2002, Roger Maris in 297 games with the Yankees in 1961, Cecil Fielder in 335 gams with the Tigers in 1992 and Carlos Pena equaled Cruz's 362 games with the Rays in 2009.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Jean Segura