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Aramis targeting next homestand for return

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MILWAUKEE -- Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez will play it safe, but he is targeting the Brewers' next homestand for his return from a left knee sprain.

Ramirez took soft toss and hit off a tee Friday for the third time since he sprained his left knee on April 5. He has also been playing catch on the field, and on the Brewers' upcoming West Coast road trip will try running the bases for the first time.

If that goes well, he could play soon after the Brewers return to Miller Park for nine games against the Pirates, Cardinals and Rangers.

"That's what I'm shooting for," Ramirez said. "I don't know if it will be in the Pirates series, that may be pushing it. But next homestand. That's what I'm looking at. I'm making strides."

Slow strides. He suffered the same injury in Spring Training and was back in action two weeks later, but at less than 100 percent of full strength. That, Ramirez believes, is why he re-injured his knee in the Brewers' fifth regular season game.

He is approaching this comeback more cautiously.

"I have to," Ramirez said. "Because the last time, I didn't let it heal the way I was supposed to, because I wanted to rush back and get on the field. If I hurt this thing again, it's going to be rough."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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