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Tigers' outfield slowly working to full strength


LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers have Andy Dirks back in their lineup, and there's a decent chance they could have their outfield depth restored by this time next week.

Manager Jim Leyland said that the Tigers' medical staff is hoping to have Quintin Berry available for Sunday's game against the Braves, though he wasn't on the travel list as of Saturday afternoon. Berry hasn't played since last Sunday because of patellar tendinitis in his left knee.

Meanwhile, Brennan Boesch is making cautious progress from the oblique strain that has kept him out of action for the last two weeks. Boesch took batting practice on Friday for the first time and he'll have to build off that to get into game shape. Though he didn't take BP on Saturday, supposedly because of the cool weather, he believes he could be back around the middle of next week.

The timetable remains unclear for infielder Ramon Santiago, who's dealing with a strained right calf. Santiago has started hitting in the cage and jogging, and he has been increasing his activity each day, but he's still a long way from being game ready.

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