Dirks expected to play on Thursday

Dirks expected to play on Thursday

Dirks expected to play on Thursday
DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't get a chance to use Andy Dirks' return to give Austin Jackaon a day out of the lineup on Wednesday like he had hoped. But he won't have to wait any longer on Dirks.

"Dirks is ready to go," Leyland said after Wednesday's loss. "He'll probably play [Thursday]."

If he does, it'll be his first game action in a week and a half, since he strained his left hamstring rounding third base against Kansas City. His absence is far from the main reason for the Tigers' struggles lately, but it sure hasn't helped. They've struggled to manufacture offense without him.

Leyland likely won't shake up the lineup with Dirks back, but he'll get another left-handed bat, one that had been swinging well before he was hurt.