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08/11/09 10:30 PM ET

Rays sending Iwamura on rehab with plan

Second baseman to alternate playing field and DH duty

ANAHEIM -- Akinori Iwamura has been with the team on the current road trip and Tuesday the team announced the plans for their second baseman, who has been on the disabled list since May 25, a stint that has included left knee surgery.

"What we're planning on right now is to get him out on Friday," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's going to go to [Triple-A] Durham. And we have a schedule built up for him to play, DH, play. Then I think there's an off-day.

"We're just going to try and bump him back and forth between playing and DHing. Try to get him through seven games at Durham, road trip to Syracuse, road trip to Norfolk and reevaluate at that point."

Maddon said the Rays would love to have Iwamura back by Sept. 1, but noted, "It's all about him, that's what I want him to understand, too."

"Of course we'd love to have him back," Maddon said. "But he has not played in a while. He's going through Spring Training again. Your body is going to tell us and yourself exactly when you're going to be ready again. So just go out and play. See how you feel. We'll communicate on a consistent basis and we'll see if it's going to be sooner or later on that."

After running and hitting on Tuesday, Iwamura reported he was "pain free."

"So I should be able to play and be back to game speed pretty soon," said Iwamura through an interpreter. "Personally I'd like to come back at the end of this month, if it's possible."

When asked if he would be back before the end of the season, Iwamura spoke without his translator: "I think so."

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