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Baylor returns after Opening Day mishap

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels dugout has its "Groove" back.

Angels hitting coach Don Baylor, nicknamed Groove, officially rejoined the team after breaking his right femur catching a ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. Baylor, in his first season with the Angels after three in Arizona, was cleared to be on the bench and travel with the team.

"It feels like I'm going into the first grade, really," Baylor said after 12 weeks away from the bench.

Paul Sorrento took over as the interim hitting coach and Dave Hansen was the assistant hitting coach in Baylor's absence. Even without his physical presence, Baylor kept in contact with Angels manager Mike Scioscia "pretty much every day," according to Scioscia.

"Dave and Paul have been doing a great job but Donnie's presence is certainly something that I know will help us on the bench and will help these guys in the cage and in the batter's box," Scioscia said. "So we're happy to have him back."

Baylor said he kept in touch with both players and coaches via text, even though he "really never used texts until this year but it came in handy."

Before Tuesday's game against the Twins, Baylor took his post behind the batting cage as the Angels took batting practice, a change from the television he has been stuck staring at.

"Hitters, you have to be able to see it in person and then go down and have video reconfirm what you just saw," Baylor said. "That's the good thing about watching it on TV, you get to see it a second time."

Baylor said he has not -- and will not -- watch the video of him breaking his leg.

"I kind of want to put it behind me," he said. "I've had injuries on the field as a player but nothing ever like that."

Scioscia said there were not any extra precautions needed in the dugout but Baylor's doctors told him to keep his distance from one thing.

"They just told me to stay out of fights, don't be charging anybody," Baylor said.

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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