Rangers' Kinsler could be put on DL

Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, still recovering from a high ankle sprain suffered March 12, may have to start the season on the disabled list.

"We are hopeful that Ian will be OK for Opening Day, but we are also game planning for the possibility of him starting the year on the DL," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said via e-mail Wednesday morning.

Levine said Kinsler, who suffered the injury slipping on wet grass, has been taking batting practice and has started running drills as he attempts to test the ankle with some lateral movement. Kinsler has been lifting weights and throwing since shortly after the injury.

Because he hasn't played in a Cactus League game since suffering the sprain, Kinsler could go on the disabled list backdated to March 26, meaning he could return to the lineup as early as April 11 -- missing just five games.

The Rangers have said all along they want to be sure Kinsler is completely healthy when he returns. Kinsler, who's been on the disabled list four consecutive seasons, had 31 homers, 31 stolen bases, 86 RBIs and a .253 batting average last season.

The Rangers on Sunday acquired Andres Blanco from the Chicago Cubs partially as insurance in case Kinsler was unable to open the season.

Richard Durrett covers colleges for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report./