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Beltran's return: Who knows?

Will Carlos Beltran return before the All-Star break? Team officials say even they're unsure.

Beltran, who has been fitted with a knee brace, has not be cleared to begin running or baseball activities. That could happen in a week. Or in a month. Or beyond that.

What's clear is that Beltran will need four to six weeks to be ready for major league play once he is cleared. So the clock is ticking if Beltran intends to be back before the July 12-14 break.

Beltran originally underwent arthroscopic surgery on his arthritic right knee on Jan. 13 in Vail, Colo. He hoped to be cleared to begin running about April 10, but that didn't happen when the center fielder visited the doctors who performed the surgery for an exam shortly after that date.