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Ian Stewart to return to Rockies’ lineup Wednesday

Mar 15, 2011, 9:23 PM EDT

Stewart_Ian

We heard last week that Ian Stewart was a “longshot” to be ready for Opening Day, but it turns out he may cut things pretty close.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Stewart is scheduled to start at third base tomorrow against the Rangers. It will be his first Cactus League action since spraining the MCL in his left knee in a collision with teammate Carlos Gonzalez in the Rockies’ exhibition opener back on February 26.

Stewart actually appeared in a “B” game against the Angels yesterday as the designated hitter, finishing 2-for-4 with a walk. Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that Stewart originally expected to return to Cactus League action Thursday night, but the Rockies apparently felt encouraged enough by his progress to move up his timetable.

There’s still a chance Stewart will have enough time to be ready for Opening Day, but if not, Ty Wigginton is an obvious short-term alternative at the hot corner.

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