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04/10/10 2:40 PM ET

Hunter's return to mound delayed

Righty is rehabbing strained left oblique muscle in Arizona

ARLINGTON -- Tommy Hunter, who is on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle in his left rib cage, has started throwing again in Surprise, Ariz., but his return to the mound has been delayed.

The Rangers were hoping that Hunter would start throwing off a mound on Monday, but they are going to wait until Wednesday. Hunter felt what was described as a "pinch" in his side, and the Rangers are going to hold him back a couple of days.

"It's not a setback, but we're going to be as prudent as possible while he's on rehab," assistant general manager Thad Levine said.

Hunter was supposed to be in the Rangers' rotation to start the season but injured himself in mid-March while warming up for a game. He has been sidelined for 3 1/2 weeks. He's unlikely to be an option at the Major League level until sometime in May at the earliest.

Kinsler tests ankle by taking grounders

ARLINGTON -- Two days after getting another anti-inflammation shot in his sprained right ankle, second baseman Ian Kinsler was back on the field Saturday morning taking ground balls from infield coach Dave Anderson.

That was a significant step for Kinsler, but he still has much work to do before he's close to coming off the disabled list.

"We won't know anything until we get him on the basepaths -- running, stopping and starting," manager Ron Washington said.

Kinsler, who has been sidelined since March 12, has not done that yet. The Rangers are hoping he might be able to come off the disabled list when they open a three-game series with the Red Sox in Boston on April 20, but that still might be pushing it.

"Until we exhaust everything we need to see and until he shows everything he needs to show ... I don't know," Washington said.

O'Day, Oliver remember Adenhart

ARLINGTON -- Friday marked the one-year anniversary of Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart being killed in a car crash in Anaheim.

Two Rangers remember him well. Reliever Darren O'Day came up through the Angels system and became good friends with Adenhart while they were together in Triple-A in 2008.

O'Day was with the Mets as a Rule 5 Draft pick last year when he heard about his friend's death. A couple of weeks later, O'Day was acquired by the Rangers. When he first got here, he wrote Adenhart's initials and the No. 34 under the bill of his cap. He still has the cap in his locker. He has a new cap for this season but again wrote his friend's initials and numbers under the bill.

"It's good that his name is being brought up again," O'Day said. "He's still being thought about and still being remembered, he's not fading into oblivion. I'll never forget that day and I'm sure a lot of guys do. We all still remember him in our own little ways, and I know he's watching us."

Darren Oliver was a reliever with the Angels last season and also got to know Adenhart during his time there.

"The hardest part for me was the next day," Oliver said. "We had a meeting at the ballpark when the game was cancelled and his dad walked in. That was the toughest part, being a dad myself. My family had just gotten in the night before. Seeing it from a father's eye really put it in perspective for me."

Arias getting a chance to impress

ARLINGTON -- Second baseman Joaquin Arias had a nice game on Friday night, getting two hits, driving in a run and making a couple nice defensive plays in the field. His reward was getting a second consecutive start at second base on Saturday.

Rangers manager Ron Washington was planning to go with Andres Blanco at second against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, but he changed his mind and decided to go with Arias. Washington said it's because Arias had faced Hernandez before and Blanco had not.

"I didn't want to do that to Blanco," Washington said. "I'll get him in there tomorrow."

Arias made the team when Ian Kinsler had to start the season on the disabled list. The Rangers will have to decide between Blanco and Arias when Kinsler comes back. Blanco's ability to play shortstop may be the deciding factor, but Arias does have some time to make an impression.

"I'm just trying to be ready to play," Arias said. "I don't worry about what will happen. I'm here right now."

Treanor to make first start Sunday

ARLINGTON -- Catcher Matt Treanor is expected to get his first start on Sunday for the Rangers. He will be the 62nd catcher to start for the Rangers in club history. Ivan Rodriguez (1,404) and Jim Sundberg (1,395) have combined for 2,999 starts. The other 59 have combined for the other 3,230 starts.

Geno Petralli, by the way, is third with 419 starts, followed by Gerald Laird with 334 and Rod Barajas with 313.

Treanor will be the 18th player to start at least one game at catcher for the Rangers since Ivan Rodriguez left as a free agent after the 2002 season. That's twice as many as the Angels, who have had nine players start at catcher in that time.

Worth noting

ARLINGTON -- This is the second consectuive season that Nelson Cruz has hit three home runs in the first four games. ... Detroit's Miguel Cabrera was the only other American League player besides Vladimir Guerrero to have at least two hits in each of the first four games of the season. ... Triple-A Oklahoma City is without outfielders Craig Gentry and Brandon Boggs for a day or two. Gentry was hit in the head with a pitch on Thursday and is being given a couple of days to recover. Boggs has a mild case of tendinitis in his right throwing arm and is also getting some time off. Both should be back soon.

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