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Saunders heading to Arizona to continue rehab

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are sending pitcher Joe Saunders to Arizona to continue his rehab at their complex in Surprise. Saunders lives in the Phoenix area, his wife just gave birth to their third child and he is still not ready to come off the disabled list.

Saunders is sidelined with a bruised left ankle and hasn't pitched since April 4. He will likely need at least one start on a rehab assignment before he returns to the Major Leagues.

"He's been able to keep his arm going," general manager Jon Daniels said. "The ankle's not ready yet for him to go out in a game. He can do a lot of things he needs to do but he's not game ready. He'll go out to Arizona, work out in Surprise. It's relatively convenient for him, just having had a baby girl. He lives out there. He can work out there until he's ready to go on a rehab assignment."

Saunders made his only start against the Rays on April 4 and had to leave the game in the fourth inning after getting hit by a shot off the bat of Evan Longoria. Saunders did not expect to be out this long, but the ankle hasn't healed as quickly as he expected.

"This is the first non-arm injury in my life," Saunders said. "Usually when you're on the disabled list, it's for a sore shoulder or a sore elbow. I can see that but for a foot, it's definitely frustrating. I've got to be patient."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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