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Cameron eyes Bronx return to lineup

Cameron eyes Bronx return to lineup

BOSTON -- In mid-rehab assignment, Red Sox center fielder Mike Cameron checked back into Fenway Park on Wednesday to work out under the supervision of the training staff and take a day off from playing in a game.

While the Red Sox will travel to Detroit for a three-game series that starts on Friday, Cameron hopes to rejoin his teammates on Monday for the start of a two-game series at Yankee Stadium.

"That's what we're shooting for," said Cameron. "That's kind of a tentative idea. Basically it will depend on how my body goes. And on top of that, just playing the game, running around, diving, going first to third. We'll see. That's the tentative plan, but we just have to see how the body responds. So far it's been good."

Cameron has played two games for Triple-A Pawtucket, going 2-for-6. He started at designated hitter on Monday and played center in Tuesday's game.

The PawSox schedule works out well for Cameron, because the team is at home the rest of the week. Cameron will serve as the DH for Pawtucket's 12:05 p.m. ET game on Thursday. He will return to center field for Pawtucket on Friday.

Cameron last played for the Red Sox on April 19 before being sidelined with a lower abdominal strain.

"I think he feels like he needs four to five games baseball-wise," manager Terry Francona said. "So if everything goes OK physically, that's probably a realistic timetable. Again, we'll kind of reserve the right to check every day, because I think we have an obligation to do that."

As for Jacoby Ellsbury, the team's other starting outfielder on the disabled list, the left fielder continues to improve. In fact, he will likely start a rehab assignment in a few days.

"Like we talked about yesterday, the last three or four days have been pretty good for him," Francona said. "I think we hope the next three or four days are really good for him, because then the next step is playing in a game. I think we're getting closer. I don't know if we're there. We're getting close."

Ellsbury is recovering from a hairline fracture on four of his left ribs suffered in an April 11 collision with Adrian Beltre.

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

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