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Aramis nearing return from disabled list

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SAN DIEGO -- Brewers' third baseman Aramis Ramirez could return from the disabled list early next week, manager Ron Roenicke said Wednesday.

Ramirez, who has been out since April 5 with a sprained left knee, took batting practice and ground balls with the team for the first time since the injury.

Ramirez, who knocked in 105 runs for Milwaukee last season, would prefer not to go on a rehab assignment. Roenicke said he is fine with that decision, because Ramirez has proven he's able to jump right back into big league action.

Still, it makes Roenicke's job a little tougher.

"If he's not ready and you put him out there and all of a sudden he goes, 'Wow, I'm not ready,' now you're sitting on him for four or five days [on the active roster]," Roenicke said.

It's possible Ramirez will play in some type of simulated game before he returns to the lineup.

"We've talked about why he can't rush it," Roenicke said. "He doesn't really want to go on a rehab, so that makes it more important not to rush it. We have to make sure when we activate him, he's ready to go."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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