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Saunders not yet ready to begin rehab stint

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

BALTIMORE -- Though there was some hope that Michael Saunders would be ready to go out on a Minor League rehab stint by this weekend, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said that projection proved too optimistic and his right fielder will continue working with the team this coming week at Safeco Field.

Saunders took the day off from hitting and throwing on Sunday, and he will have another day of rest Monday on the team's off-day, then test his strained left oblique muscle on Tuesday when the club opens a nine-game homestand.

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BALTIMORE -- Though there was some hope that Michael Saunders would be ready to go out on a Minor League rehab stint by this weekend, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said that projection proved too optimistic and his right fielder will continue working with the team this coming week at Safeco Field.

Saunders took the day off from hitting and throwing on Sunday, and he will have another day of rest Monday on the team's off-day, then test his strained left oblique muscle on Tuesday when the club opens a nine-game homestand.

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Saunders has missed three and a half weeks, and he will likely need a week or more of Minor League games to regain his timing once he is cleared to play.

"We'll see what happens Tuesday and go from there," McClendon said Sunday. "We're getting close. My hope is later in the week to have him go out and start DHing. We'll see how it goes."

Throwing continues to be the toughest thing for the 27-year-old outfielder.

"I think that's the last thing to come," McClendon said. "He's throwing controlled right now. He needs to take a full outfield with different angles -- to the line, in the gap, throw to the bases, spin and turn and throw. We'll find out."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.

Seattle Mariners, Michael Saunders