ARLINGTON -- Jesus Montero, sidelined the past five weeks following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, will return to action Friday as a designated hitter in an Arizona Rookie League game, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Wednesday.
Montero had been sent down to Triple-A Tacoma in May, then underwent surgery after playing seven games for the Rainiers.
"Everything is good," Zduriencik said. "He's been in Arizona working out really well. Obviously, we are going to DH him, but he's making good progress."
The Mariners already were transitioning Montero to first base from catcher after he struggled as the club's starting backstop in the first six weeks. Zduriencik said the injury would lead to Montero strictly playing first base and DH the remainder of this season.
"I don't think we'll put him behind the plate," he said. "The whole plan all along was just to give him a few days behind the plate, so I think what we'll do now, especially this year, we'll just keep him at first base, let him DH and get him playing again and get him swinging a bat."
Zduriencik said there was no timetable on his return to Tacoma.
"Let's see how this thing all works together in Arizona," he said. "The fact that he's going to be playing this week is good news."
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.