Kinsler may return at end of April

BOSTON -- Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler was pronounced ready for a rehab assignment after testing his right ankle Wednesday in a workout for the second straight day.

If he doesn't have any setbacks, he could return to the Rangers' lineup at the end of the month, either just before the team leaves Arlington or at some point during a six-game road trip to Seattle and Oakland.

Kinsler, who has been out of action since suffering a high ankle sprain on March 12 during spring training workouts, was scheduled to depart Boston at 6 p.m. Wednesday to head to Surprise, Ariz., where he'll participate in extended spring games. After about four days, Kinsler, 27, is expected to join Triple-A Oklahoma City or Double-A Frisco for several games before re-joining the team.

"The advantage to Arizona is that he can effectively lead off every inning and in four days get 30-plus at-bats and make up for some lost time as far as seeing pitches and getting his timing down," general manager Jon Daniels said.

Kinsler ran the bases and hit during early batting practice on Wednesday before gathering his stuff to head to the airport. He's not at full health as he departs, but he's much improved.

"I think there's going to be pain for the rest of the season," Kinsler said. "But I can push through it."

Kinsler said his running "has gotten better," and he's ready to see how the ankle responds in games and after them.

"If we wait until it's 100 percent, it may never get there," manager Ron Washington said. "He has to figure out what he can do. He can gradually push himself, but not go out there and try to do everything in one day."

Kinsler is scheduled to DH on Thursday and then get some time at second base after that, though Kinsler said he might play some second on Thursday, too.

"The big thing is getting at-bats and running," Kinsler said.

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.