Inge, who went on the 15-day disabled list two weeks ago after trying to play through the injury for a few weeks, went through a full session of batting practice and infield practice before Saturday's game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It's the same place where he first pulled his oblique little more than a month ago while taking batting practice and then checking his swing during a game.
Though he could play in the field with just minor trouble, swinging a bat became an increasing problem for him until the pain became excruciating. It was no problem on Saturday, when he took several big swings and was still pain-free.
"I didn't feel a thing," Inge said. "I let them go, too."
The progress was impressive enough that head athletic trainer Kevin Rand cleared Inge for game action.
Manager Jim Leyland said Sunday morning that he still expects that Inge will not be activated until after the All-Star break. At the very least, this assignment gives him plenty of at-bats before the break, when the Mud Hens are off for three days as well.
Another injured Tigers utilityman, Ramon Santiago, is on track to rejoin the Tigers when they resume play at home on Tuesday. Santiago is on the 15-day DL with a separated left shoulder but has spent the past week on a rehab assignment with Toledo. He entered play Sunday having gone 2-for-21 with a double and two runs scored in six games, but the key for the Tigers is simply health.
Santiago's return likely will have Michael Hollimon headed back to the Hens, Leyland said. Hollimon entered Sunday having gone 6-for-23 with two doubles, a triple and a home run in 10 games for the Tigers, but club officials want the young prospect to have everyday at-bats to continue to hone his game.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.