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09/08/08 7:18 PM ET

Long recovery nearly over for Longoria

Rookie third baseman could be back in lineup this weekend

BOSTON -- Evan Longoria could be ready to be back in the Rays' lineup by the weekend.

The rookie third baseman took "flips" -- swinging at baseballs tossed to him from the side -- prior to Monday night's game against the Red Sox, and reported that all went well.

Longoria was reinstated off the disabled list on Sunday. He had been on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 11 with a right wrist fracture. He fractured a bone in his right wrist when he got hit by a pitch from hard-throwing Mariners right-hander J.J. Putz on Aug. 7. At that point, he thought he would be back in two or three days, but his return has been slow coming.

"Tomorrow, just do the whole thing over," Longoria said. "Flips and, hopefully, incorporate some overhand throwing."

Longoria said he will likely take batting practice with the team on Friday, and if he has too much soreness initially, they will have to deal with it at that time. But he was optimistic it won't come to that.

"I don't see it happening that way," Longoria said. "I felt really good today and I'm not sore. So hopefully tomorrow it would feel good."

In addition to taking batting practice, Longoria would like to have batting practice against one of the Rays' pitchers.

"I would need to see at least one live BP session against one of our pitchers," Longoria said. "Something that's going to speed me up, because BP is not really for that. If I feel comfortable in BP, I'll hopefully get one of the guys who hasn't thrown in a while to throw me a live BP."

If all goes well with both tests, Longoria could be back in the lineup by the end of the weekend.

Meanwhile, Rays manager Joe Maddon said Longoria could be available to pinch-hit against the Red Sox Monday night, but he planned to check with team doctors first. Obviously, Maddon was exercising a little gamesmanship.

Longoria smiled when asked about pinch-hitting duties Monday night.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm available to pinch-hit tonight," Longoria said.

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