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Rangers working their way through injuries

ARLINGTON -- Shin-Soo Choo woke up Tuesday with his back so sore he could barely walk. Mitch Moreland has looked off running the bases and left Wednesday's game in the seventh inning to give his feet a break.

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Both players are still in the Rangers' lineup, but the Rangers' disabled list is somehow still long.

In addition to a slew of long-term recoveries, Josh Hamilton, Ross Ohlendorf, Delino DeShields and Kyle Blanks are still on the disabled list after June injuries. A grueling schedule stretch has other bumps and bruises adding up for the Rangers, who had lost four in a row entering Thursday.

"It's the nature," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's what is laid out in front of us. We deal with whatever we have to. We compete through it, we'll play though it, we'll do whatever we have to. It's reality. My job is to help my players manage through it."

Choo missed the past two games with back spasms, but he was back in the Rangers' lineup Thursday. Moreland said he is battling general soreness in his back and legs, but he has not missed a game.

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The Rangers surprisingly activated third baseman Adrian Beltre on Tuesday despite the fact his left thumb injury is still not 100 percent healed. Wandy Rodriguez looked to be dealing with discomfort in his back Wednesday during his worst outing of the season.

"I feel a lot better," Choo said. "But I probably told you guys this last year -- in this game, nobody's playing healthy."

Aches and pains are certainly nothing new in baseball, but the Rangers are in the midst of a run in which they haven't been cut many breaks.

After flying from Los Angeles after last Thursday's game to play in Chicago on Friday, the Rangers faced a night-day turnaround Saturday that Choo said left the team fatigued. They got an off-day on Monday after playing 11 innings the day before, but they also travel to Toronto after Thursday's series finale with the Athletics.

The Rogers Centre turf isn't likely to ease any pains. That's part of the reason Hamilton is rehabbing a strained left hamstring in Triple-A.

"I'm well aware of all the guys who have had history of not feeling good in Tampa and Toronto," Banister said. "We'll treat it case-by-case. These guys will let me know where they're at. I think more than anything else, it's about where you're at going into it."

There's not much the Rangers can do about the current situation. Moreland said what they do have some control over is making sure something minor doesn't become serious.

"You want to be there and be out there every day," Moreland said. "I think the biggest thing is trying to be smart. If you need to cut back on the running or whatever, it may be to stay out there and help the team, then that's what you've got to do."

Worth noting

• DeShields (strained left hamstring) said he ran at 80-85 percent Thursday, but still wasn't sure when or where he will begin a rehab assignment. Banister said DeShields should be ready soon.

"I think he's progressing a tic better than we thought he was going to," Banister said.

• After a hot start to his Major League career, Rangers third baseman/outfielder Joey Gallo is encountering his first slump. Gallo is 4-for-32 with 18 strikeouts over the past nine games. Banister said he's not concerned and sees it as evidence that pitchers are actively preparing to face Gallo.

• Right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate, the Rangers first-round Draft pick, is scheduled to make his professional debut Friday with a start for Spokane at Salem-Keizer.

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for
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