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Healing Zunino starts swinging the bat

Healing Zunino starts swinging the bat

Healing Zunino starts swinging the bat

ARLINGTON -- Rookie catcher Mike Zunino, sidelined the past three weeks with a broken hamate bone in his left hand, has started swinging a bat in recent days as he works toward rejoining the Mariners for the final month of the season.

"He is progressing really well," said acting manager Robby Thompson. "A couple days ago he was swinging in the pool with resistance. Then he was doing some dry swings with the Fungo and then the regular bat. No problems. And I heard he was going to do a little tee work today."

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Trainer Rick Griffin challenged Zunino to beat the 23-day comeback Ken Griffey Jr. needed to recover from the same injury in 1996, though noting the typical recovery is about six weeks. Zunino has missed 21 days so far and clearly isn't going to be ready this week, but he's getting closer.

"He's saying he was going to beat Griffey's time," Thompson said. "He's really working hard and champing at the bit to come back. I'm not quite sure what the timetable will be when we get back, whether he'll be hitting a little bit. But he's working his way toward regular BP and we'll see how it goes with that and then, hopefully, get him on a little rehab assignment."

Catcher Jesus Sucre, out since June 4 with a bruised left wrist, began his own Minor League rehab stint last week with the Peoria Rookie League squad and is expected to join Triple-A Tacoma shortly. He went 2-for-4 on Thursday and is hitting .250 (4-for-16) in five games with Peoria.

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.

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