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Ripken To Ease Into Orioles’ Game

August 26, 2000

BALTIMORE (AP) _ When Cal Ripken is activated from the disabled list Friday, it will have been more than two months since he last wore a game uniform.

Ripken, sidelined with lower back pain since June 28, will not have the opportunity to undergo a rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues. So Baltimore Orioles manager Mike Hargrove plans to ease him back into the daily grind.

A stint or two at designated hitter might be in order for the man who has manned third base since 1997.

``Cal is not going to play a full nine innings from the get-go, and I don’t know that he will start out playing in the field,″ Hargrove said Saturday. ``We have an option of letting him DH. We’re going to allow him the best possible chance to come back and finish off this season by playing a lot, to ascertain his health.″

Although Ripken turned 40 Thursday, he has not yet dismissed the possibility that he might return in 2001. Much depends on how he feels, and how he plays, in September.

Ripken is hitting .239 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs.

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