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Beckham swings off tee, eager for rehab assignment

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CHICAGO -- After taking 100 swings off a tee before Friday's series opener with the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field, Gordon Beckham made a seemingly bold prediction for his return to the Majors.

"Let's just say a couple of weeks from today," Beckham said. "That's the goal."

The White Sox second baseman had surgery on April 16 to remove a fractured hamate bone in his left hand, sustained while taking a swing against Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez. The standard recovery time of six weeks for such an injury would have had Beckham return in early June, but after Friday's swings and his resuming defensive work this past Tuesday, Beckham is hoping for a rehab assignment within the next 7-10 days.

"It could be bumped up. It could be moved back as of now," Beckham said.

"I was pretty encouraged by the fact I saw the ball and the way the ball was coming off the bat," said Beckham of his Friday swings. "That's important, and a lot of balls had good trajectory, too. So there's a lot to like about the first day. Got to build up a little bit, but for the first day, pretty encouraging."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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