Delino DeShields wasn't playing around.
When the Texas Rangers' center fielder broke the hamate bone in his left hand during an at-bat on March 30 he vowed to be back on the field in three weeks.
He said this despite the Rangers' medical staff saying he was likely to miss four to six weeks after surgery.
But DeShields was in the lineup for Double-A Frisco on Thursday, 20 days after the injury. He played again Friday night and could return to the Rangers' roster as soon as Saturday night against the Mariners. He was told the Rangers will reevaluate the situation Saturday morning.
"There's no reason to keep me here if I'm feeling good and having good at-bats," said DeShields, who is 3 for 6 with two bunt singles in two games with the RoughRiders, including 2 for 3 with two singles and a run scored Friday night.
"I'm determined. When I put my mind to something I get it done. Obviously, I don't want to come back and hurt the team, so three weeks might have been far-fetched. But at this point I'm feeling good enough to go help contribute on the big league level — whether it's with my bat, my legs or my glove."
Two stitches are still sitting in the scar on his left wrist, which got a little stiff as the air grew chillier later in the night. He left the game after the seventh inning.
In the fourth, DeShields tracked down balls off the wall in both allies and caught a fly ball. He lined out to center in the first and reached on a bunt single down the first-base line to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
In the fifth, DeShields never saw a ball off the bat from center. He moved in but the ball landed about 20 feet shy of the track in right-center. But he was seeing it well in the batter's box.
"I felt like I was having good at-bats," he said. Two of his three hits with Frisco are bunt singles.
"It's part of my game. I didn't want to neglect it and wanted to regain confidence with it," he said. "I told them I was ready to go three days ago. I can manage."