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Rolen's recovery keeps on rolling

Rolen's recovery keeps rolling

BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons leaned against the back of the batting cage, watching Scott Rolen take a few swings on the field at Camden Yards prior to Tuesday's game against the Orioles.

It marked the second day in a row that Rolen tested his recovering right hand in a round of pregame batting practice with the Blue Jays. Come Wednesday, the third baseman will head back to Florida to continue rehabbing the middle finger he broke during routine fielding drills toward the end of Spring Training.

"I thought he looked really good," said Gibbons, when asked how Rolen fared in the batting cage. "He looks ahead of where I figured he'd be."

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In a perfect world, Gibbons said he believed Rolen could potentially be ready to be activated from the 15-day disabled list before the end of the month. That timeframe would put Rolen roughly five weeks removed from the surgery he had to repair his broken finger on March 24.

"Best case? Maybe two weeks," said Gibbons, referring to how much more rehab time Rolen might require. "He's going to know himself better than anybody else, but we don't want to rush it. When he gets here, you want him to have his timing and you want him to be able to cut the ball loose across the field if he has to.

"Hopefully two weeks or three weeks -- somewhere in there. Then, you've got your team the way you envisioned it."

The Blue Jays acquired the 33-year-old Rolen in a January deal with the Cardinals that sent third baseman Troy Glaus to St. Louis. On March 23, Rolen suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right middle finger when a line drive struck his hand during fielding drills.

Rolen promptly flew to Baltimore, where hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham inserted a pin in the third baseman's finger to stabilize the bone. The pin was removed on April 7, and Rolen has since resumed playing catch and hitting, though he's stayed away from fielding for the time being.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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