Adrian Beltre won’t debut with the Texas Rangers this season for at least a few weeks as he deals with a new Grade 1 strain in his left calf, and the third baseman is committed to listen to the medical staff and not rushing to return.
He doesn’t feel like he was rushing back from the initial right calf strain that put him on the 10-day disabled list to start the season. That strain continues to heal, but the newest strain is vexing to Beltre because he doesn’t know how to manage it or what might aggravate it.
He’s also disappointed to be missing time in the first year of a two-year deal that could be his final contract before retirement.
“I’ve got to listen more to the doctors and trainers who have a better idea of what’s better for me in this situation,” Beltre said. “When we’re talking about hamstrings or other parts of the body I’ve played with before, I know exactly how to manage that. This one I don’t know, so I’m going to try to be patient and understand that it might take a little longer than I expected.”
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He said that there is no timetable for his return, but early- to mid-May seems realistic. Beltre, who played catch Wednesday but otherwise will have no strenuous activity for perhaps a week, would likely need a rehab assignment once cleared to play.
Beltre could have a lot of company on assignment as multiple players who were injured during spring training start coming back. Chief among them is right-hander Tyson Ross, who was scratched Wednesday from a rehab start at extending spring training because of spasms in his upper back.
The Rangers are hopeful that Ross, who is out after having surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome, can throw a bullpen session early next week and be knock off course by only five to seven days.
A mid-May debut remains a realistic target, assistant general manager Mike Daly said.
“Once he’s able to play catch tomorrow, we’ll reevaluate,” Daly said. “He’s in a great spot.”
Infielder Hanser Alberto (shoulder) and catcher Brett Nicholas (knee) are in Arizona and could be cleared for full baseball activities next week.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton’s rehab from knee surgery has been extended past the initial six-week window, and he continue to work out in Houston.