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Iglesias still not cleared for baseball activities

DETROIT -- Neither the Tigers nor doctors have shut down shortstop Jose Iglesias after his followup exam on Friday for his fractured right middle finger. But the schedule might end Iglesias' season for them.

While Iglesias' tests showed the finger is healing, injured on a hit-by-pitch Sept. 3, he hasn't shown enough improvement to be cleared for baseball activity, let alone playing. With just over two weeks left in the season, Iglesias would need to make a lot of progress in a short amount of time to have a realistic chance.

"Before he'd be able to play, he'd have to take batting practice for a few days," manager Brad Ausmus said. "And I don't see that in the next couple days at least, maybe by the end of the homestand [next Sunday]. If he doesn't hit by the end of the homestand, then there's probably no reason to bring him on the road [for the season's final week]."

Asked if there's a point when they'll have to decide on shutting Iglesias down, Ausmus said, "We're nearing it."

So what's the value in having Iglesias come back to play in a week's worth of games or fewer when the Tigers aren't in a race? Ausmus answers that question with another.

"Why shut a guy down if he's capable of playing?" Ausmus asked. "If he's not able, there's no reason to play him, but this is what they're supposed to do. A player's job is to play baseball, and if they're healthy, they should play baseball. Simple as that."

In other injury news
• Right-hander Buck Farmer could return to the bullpen in time for Monday's day-night doubleheader against the White Sox after tossing a bullpen session on Friday. "He's going to throw a light bullpen [Sunday], 15 pitches or so," Ausmus said. "If he feels fine Monday, he'll be available Monday for the doubleheader."

Nick Castellanos (left groin tightness) and Dixon Machado (left hamstring tightness) both returned to the lineup on Saturday after being used as late-inning substitutes on Friday night.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.
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