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06/17/08 8:41 PM ET

Sore Blalock pushes back rehab

Infielder, recovering from wrist surgery, now will report Saturday

ARLINGTON -- Infielder Hank Blalock, recovering from surgery on his right wrist, has again pushed back his timetable for both going out on medical rehabilitation assignment and coming off the disabled list.

Blalock is still fighting through some soreness in his right wrist after two days of batting practice at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and is now planning to wait until this weekend before beginning a rehab assignment at Triple-A Oklahoma.

Blalock had hoped to join Oklahoma on Tuesday night and be activated when the Rangers open a three-game series with the Nationals on Friday in Washington, D.C. But the plan now is to continue to take batting practice in Arlington, join Oklahoma on Saturday and be ready when the Rangers play the Astros next Tuesday in Houston.

"Hitting in the stadium, everything felt great," Blalock said. "But there's still some soreness, so instead of rushing off to [Oklahoma] and making it to Washington, I'm just going to keep hitting here, keep it improving and go to Oklahoma on Saturday.

"I feel strong, and the ball is carrying. The main thing is getting your timing down, especially with your hands. The soreness isn't too bad, but you've got to be able to turn on a 95 mile per hour fastball on the inside corner. Pushing it back a series will allow me to do that."

Blalock was placed on the disabled list April 29 because of a partially torn right hamstring muscle. That injury has since healed, but he developed carpal tunnel syndrome in his right wrist while working out in Surprise, Ariz., and underwent surgery on May 30. He was expected to be out 3-4 weeks.

"He needs to continue to swing a little longer, which I'm fine with," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We want him back, but it's got to be at the right time. A lot depends on him. When he says he's ready to go, he'll go, because we want him ready to go when he comes back."

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