LAKELAND, Fla. -- Cancel the warning sirens over Magglio Ordonez's readiness for Opening Day. The veteran was back in the home clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium on Thursday afternoon and returned to the Tigers' starting lineup in right field on Thursday night. He even threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of the club's 75th Spring Training here in this Florida town.
To him, there's no question where he'll be in a week.
"I'll be ready for New York," Ordonez said.
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Ordonez went 1-for-4 with a double at the plate. He made a running catch down the right-field line early in the game before a miscommunication with second Will Rhymes on a blooper to shallow right.
Ordonez hadn't played since last Saturday with tightness in the IT band near his left hamstring. He had a previously scheduled day off Tuesday, something each player gets once in the spring. Manager Jim Leyland wondered aloud Tuesday whether Ordonez's situation might impact their decision on how many outfielders to take on the 25-man roster.
Ordonez has a pretty good idea how much time he'll need to be ready.
"I need maybe 15-20 at-bats," Ordonez said.
That equates to four or five games of regular play. The Tigers have six Spring Training games left, including Thursday's tilt against the Nationals, so that should mean pretty close to everyday play. Leyland said Ordonez will play from here on out.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.