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Angels contemplating Aybar's next step

Ailing Aybar may travel on trip

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ANAHEIM -- Erick Aybar and Howie Kendrick are suited but not ready to play.

Both infielders are sidelined by strains to the left hamstring and their return to the lineup is uncertain. Both players, too, suffered their injuries in the same game with Kendrick exiting Wednesday night in the fourth inning and Aybar departing in the ninth.

Kendrick's is considered the more severe of the two, enough for his second trip to the disabled list this season, but not as bad as the hamstring injury he sustained April 13 in Seattle. That cost the second baseman 42 games.

Kendrick will not be eligible to return until Sept. 12, when the Angels will be playing the Mariners as part of a seven-game homestand. And it is unlikely Aybar will return before the Angels leave for Detroit on Monday for a two-city trip that will also take them to Chicago.

At issue is whether to take Aybar and Kendrick on the trip. Both players are currently playing just light catch and not taking batting practice or running.

"If a guy is close to getting to baseball activities, then it's a no-brainer," manager Mike Scoiscia said. "You want to take him on the road with you and monitor that. If a guy is far enough away and depending on the needs of what our training staff can provide, it could be better to get more concentrated work back here.

"It is going to take a little time and you don't have a crystal ball to see how it progresses. We know Howie is going to take a little more time than Erick. There are a lot of things to determine whether we're going to take him on the road or not."

Aybar is hitting .277 this season while Kendrick has posted a .308 batting average and moved up to second in the batting order before his most recent injury.

"Hopefully it is some time in September, but we really don't know," Scioscia said. "There are certainly some hurdles you have to clear before you're out there ready to play in a Major League Baseball game. We'll just have to gauge and see where he is, but there is no magic formula."

Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez started Saturday at short and second base, respectively.

Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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