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06/13/08 7:04 PM ET

Blalock busy preparing for his return

Slugger will likely be at first base for three-game set in D.C.

NEW YORK -- Hank Blalock has resumed hitting again and is hoping to be activated next Friday when the Rangers open a three-game series with the Nationals in Washington D.C.

Blalock took two rounds of batting practice on Friday afternoon, the first time he has done so since undergoing surgery at the end of May on his right wrist. Blalock has a long cut on the palm of his right hand where the surgery was done and has been waiting for that to heal before he starts swinging the bat.

"The cut feels fine," Blalock said. "My [right] hand feels a little weak for not having heat in so long but I'll get as many repetitions this weekend as I can and go from there."

Blalock was placed on the disabled list April 29 because of a partially torn hamstring muscle. He was expected to be activated at the end of May, but came down with carpal tunnel syndrome in his right wrist and had to undergo surgery.

He is hoping that he'll be ready to go on a medical rehabilitation assignment on Monday with Triple-A Oklahoma, play three or four games with the RedHawks and then be activated for the Nationals series.

If so, the plan is still for him to move to first base.

"I got the [CT] fixed with the surgery and the cut has healed," Blalock said. "I just need to get the strength back in the hand."

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