If Beltre had a choice, he'd be back in the lineup Friday. Manager Don Wakamatsu will exercise a bit more caution.
Beltre, on the 15-day disabled list after having surgery on his left shoulder to remove bone spurs, returned to the Mariners' clubhouse Thursday. During his recovery, Beltre watched Seattle on TV. From here, he'll back his team from the bench.
"I watched every game, didn't miss a beat," Beltre said. "But it's better to be here, be a cheerleader for the team."
Beltre had season-ending shoulder surgery and surgery on his left thumb last September, and removing bone spurs from the shoulder is a complication of the previous procedure. Thus, Wakamatsu wants to play it safe with Beltre.
"He'll tell you he has full range of motion, but that's not the case," Wakamatsu said. "He'll take some ground balls next week and some cuts the week after.
"We're still looking at another month away."
Beltre's eager to be back as soon as possible, but he's willing to wait until he's healthier.
"I'm pretty sure I'll be back, but I may not be 100 percent," Beltre said.
Stephen Ellsesser is an contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.