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Rangers' 3B Beltre Out With Calf Strain

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
|  Friday, Feb 25, 2011  |  Updated 2:09 PM CDT
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Rangers' 3B Beltre Out With Calf Strain

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Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre will miss at least the first week of spring training games because of a strained right calf that is still bothering him.

"It's better to happen now than the season," Beltre said Friday morning. "Now is enough time to be ready to break camp healthy, 100 percent."

Assistant general manager Thad Levine said the Rangers will be cautious with Beltre after an MRI showed an over-extension of the muscle but no tear.

Texas signed Beltre last month to a guaranteed $80 million, five-year contract that can also include an additional sixth season for $16 million more. That move prompted the Rangers to make six-time All-Star Michael Young their primary designated hitter and utility infielder.

The Rangers expect Beltre to be ready for the start of the season April 1 against Boston.

"I think we're handling this is a very responsible and conservative matter considering where we are in the spring and the nature of who the player is," Levine said.

Beltre said he initially felt discomfort in the calf after working out on a treadmill at home before reporting to spring training. He was held out of running drills and an intrasquad game this week and had the MRI on Thursday after feeling more pain while taking groundballs.

The Rangers play their spring training opener on Sunday.

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