Rangers' Hamilton could play 1st rehab game Wed

Rangers manager Ron Washington delivered a brief message to Josh Hamilton before the AL MVP returned to Texas on Tuesday to be re-evaluated by team physician Dr. Keith Meister.

"Have fun, stay healthy. Hope everything works out," Washington said he told his slugger. "See you when you get back."

Washington and Texas could have their brightest star back in the lineup soon. Hamilton took early batting practice before the Rangers finished a two-game series at Chicago and the outfielder will play his first rehab game with Double-A Frisco on Wednesday if he gets cleared by Meister.

"Making sure Dr. Meister thinks what he sees is good enough for him to start playing, and if that's the case, he'll start tomorrow," Washington said Tuesday. "If not, he'll let us know."

The tentative schedule for Hamilton is two rehab games at Frisco, then three with Triple-A Round Rock. It will be his first game action since he broke a bone in his upper right arm April 12 on a headfirst slide into home at Detroit.

Another injured Texas outfielder, Nelson Cruz, began a rehab assignment with Frisco on Monday night. Cruz, who had been sidelined with a strained right quad, went 1 for 3 with an RBI double in the RoughRiders' 3-2 victory over Midland.

Cruz was scheduled to serve as Frisco's designated hitter again Tuesday night, then play two games in right field.