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A-Rod takes batting practice

The SportsXchange

Alex Rodriguez took another step toward a return from the disabled list, taking batting practice on the field, running the bases and taking ground balls prior to Tuesday's game at Yankee Stadium.

The New York Yankees third baseman, whose left hand was fractured July 24 when hit by a Felix Hernandez pitch, underwent an X-ray Monday that showed the bone had healed.

"I think naturally you're going to feel something," Rodriguez said when asked if he still felt any discomfort when he swings. "The most encouraging thing is the X-rays, the pictures look good, and the doctors have assured me that I have a green light."

Rodriguez has no timetable for a return, but now that he's started taking batting practice, a minor league rehab assignment isn't too far away. The third baseman admits that he doesn't feel as if he's where he needs to be in terms of timing or stamina, but that should all come quickly the more he works.

"I think my legs are coming; I see light at the end of the tunnel," Rodriguez said before the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. "My expectation is to come back and come back at full strength to help this team win.

"You just have to think big picture, and when I come back, I want to come back full strength and make sure I'm a force in the middle of this lineup and help this team win. Hopefully give us a shot in the arm."

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