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Cruz, Hamilton could return on Monday

PHILADELPHIA -- It looks like two Rangers sluggers will return from the disabled list Monday.

If all goes well with their final rehab starts today in Round Rock, the Rangers most likely will play reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz in Monday night’s series opener vs. the Chicago White Sox.

“If they make it out of Round Rock and show up at the ballpark tomorrow,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said Sunday morning prior to Game 3 of the series with the Phillies. “They doing so well in Round Rock they might not let them come out of there.”

In two games, Cruz is 4-for-8 with two home runs and Hamilton is 2-for-7 with a home run and a double. Both players homered Saturday night.

Hamilton has been on the DL since April 13 since breaking a bone in his right shoulder on a head-first slide at Detroit on April 12. He was expected to miss at least two months but his progress has gone smoother than expected. On the season, Hamilton is hitting .333 with seven RBIs and has yet to hit a home run. But he’s got a .462 slugging percentage.

Cruz strained a right quad muscle May 3 at Seattle and was placed on the DL a few days later. Despite seven home runs and 18 RBI, Cruz is hitting just .219 and the Rangers wanted to make sure he was able to get his timing down before returning to the big leagues.

In their absences, the Rangers are 14-21 minus Hamilton and 7-9 with Cruz gone.

“If they make it out of there healthy and everything goes well today, they’re be back in Texas, damn right they’ll be in that lineup,” Washington said.