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Marlon Byrd hoping to return from facial fractures on July 4

Jun 20, 2011, 3:17 PM EDT

Marlon Byrd after beaning Reuters

Out since a May 21 beaning left him with facial fractures, Marlon Byrd said yesterday that he could be cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as next week.

Byrd, who did some running yesterday, told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he hopes to join the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Des Moines next Monday and is aiming to come off the disabled list on July 4.

He was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable, so Byrd seems to be right on schedule. In his absence the Cubs have used three different center fielders in 26 games, with Reed Johnson and Tony Campana splitting time there recently.

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