April 12, 2009 in Sports

Ichiro says he’ll play Wednesday

Associated Press
 

Ichiro Suzuki missed a final rehab game because of inclement weather.

It’s OK because the Seattle Mariners’ star does not plan to miss any more.

“Of course,” Ichiro said simply, when asked after he took batting practice and caught fly balls Saturday if he expects to play the final 154 games of the regular season for Seattle.

Ichiro has missed the first six games of Seattle’s season while on the disabled list for the first time in his career. But the ulcer stopped bleeding last week, and Ichiro is scheduled to fly back to Seattle today to rejoin his team for its off-day workout Monday at Safeco Field, a day before Seattle’s home opener.

He is on track to be activated from the DL when he becomes eligible to on Wednesday, in time to start the Mariners’ second home game of the season against the Los Angeles Angels.

Suzuki said he has followed media reports on the team.

“I do know that (Ken Griffey Jr.) has been playing right field, but I also heard that he is not threatening to me,” he deadpanned, causing interpreter Ken Barron to chuckle.

The ulcer, which doctors told him was caused by bacteria, will cause him to sit out the first eight Seattle games of 2009. He had missed only three games in the five previous seasons.

Balentien hurts wrist

Seattle right fielder Wladimir Balentien left Saturday’s game against the Athletics with a sprained left wrist. Balentien was injured when he dove for a ball hit in the bottom of the first inning. He jammed his wrist into the ground on the play.

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