Soriano to be re-examined, hopes to return before All-Star break

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano will have his broken left hand re-examined Friday and hopes to return before the All-Star break next month.

Soriano was hurt when he was hit by a pitch from Atlanta's Jeff Bennett in the second inning of a game on June 11.

"I think I'll have a better idea on Friday," Soriano said before Tuesday night's game against Tampa Bay. "I'm going to see how far I am. I believe that before the All-Star Game I think I'll be able to play."

Soriano is hitting .283 with 15 homers and 40 RBIs in 51 games. He was also sidelined earlier this season with a calf injury.

"He heals quick. He's always been ahead of schedule injury-wise," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We'll have a better idea this weekend."

Soriano will go on a minor league rehab assignment before being activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Also, Matt Murton, recalled from Triple-A Iowa Tuesday, started in left field against the Rays. To make room for Murton, infielder Eric Patterson was optioned to Iowa.