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McGwire’s Return Not Expected Soon

May 9, 2001

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Mark McGwire’s workout routine is becoming more visible, but that doesn’t mean his return to the St. Louis Cardinals’ lineup is imminent.

McGwire, 37, began taking ground balls last week, while the team was on the road. He’s taken batting practice indoors and he performed agility drills on Tuesday.

Still, the earliest the Cardinals expect him back is next month. Though he was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list last week, there are no plans to activate him anytime soon.

``We’re just hoping for June,″ manager Tony La Russa said. ``When we were gone, he came to the park every day and did stuff. It’s careful.″

The team’s training staff is wary of McGwire, who’s been on the DL since April 18, cutting loose in competition. McGwire has been working on strengthening the muscles around his surgically-repaired right knee.

McGwire played in only six games, going 2-for-21 with one home run, before being sidelined by soreness in the knee.

He’s seventh on the career homer list with 555, eight behind Reggie Jackson.

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