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Walker begins rehab assignment as return nears

NEW YORK -- Second baseman Neil Walker began his rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona on Thursday night, going 1-for-4 with a double and playing six innings in the field. Walker has been assigned to the disabled list since he lacerated his right hand sliding into second base April 26 in St. Louis. He was spiked by Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma.

Walker is eligible to return from the DL on Sunday in the series finale at Citi Field against the Mets.

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He has hit .186 with one home run and two doubles in 70 career at-bats against the Mets. If he does play Sunday, the switch-hitter will make his return against Matt Harvey.

Walker is hitting .253 (20-for-79) with two doubles, a triple and a homer this season.

Marty Noble is a reporter for

Pittsburgh Pirates, Russell Martin, Charlie Morton, Neil Walker, Duke Welker