Texas Rangers

Rangers target Thursday for Beltre’s possible return

Special to the Star-Telegram

Third baseman Adrian Beltre’s strained left hamstring felt so good Monday that he declared himself a player for the Texas Rangers, but manager Jeff Banister said that Beltre will sit until at least Thursday to give the injury more time to heal before considering the disabled list.

Beltre ran, took batting practice and worked at third base after a day off Sunday. He said that he isn’t 100 percent and won’t be for an indefinite period, but he feels like he is good enough to play.

Banister, though, said that keep Beltre out is in the Rangers’ best interest over the long haul, and that can be accomplished in the matter of a few games rather than with a 15-day stint on the disabled list.

“What I’d like to do, what my decision is is to continue to be patient,” Banister said. “I’ve targeted Thursday as the day. He feels good. I just feel like where we’re out, how we’ve been play, let’s just maintain the though process of long haul here and slow play it a bit.

“I feel confident in what I watched and what I here from him and what our training staff is telling us. It’s about the long-term perspective for me on this. I’m making that decision. That one is on me.”

Beltre said that he doesn’t want to leave the Rangers any more short-handed than they are on the bench. The Rangers go to St. Louis on Friday, and National League rules put an high demand on having a full bench of pinch hitters for the pitcher’s spot.

Beltre, who was injured Wednesday and has missed the past five games, has experience managing leg injuries and is at the point where he thinks he can play without making the injury worse.

“I’m feeling better. There’s improvement,” Beltre said. “I don’t need to be 100 percent to play. I know how to play with this stuff. I’m just going to manage it for a week or two.”