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Nori Aoki to begin rehab assignment in Class AA, role with Royals unclear

07/06/2014 10:30 AM

Nori Aoki packed his bags and departed for a rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues on Sunday morning. His role when he returns to the Royals has yet to be determined.

Aoki intends to start a brief stint with Class AA Northwest Arkansas on Monday night. He has been steadily testing his strained left groin muscle during the past two weeks.

"In drills and practice, I feel great," Aoki said through his interpreter, Kosuke Inaji. "We’ve just got to bring that into the game now. And take it game by game there."

With Aoki out, the team signed outfielder Raul Ibanez. His arrival creates something of a roster crunch. The team has five outfielders once more. Aoki figures to split time with Ibanez and Jarrod Dyson. To keep all five on the roster, Christian Colon could be optioned to Class AAA Omaha.

FROM THE STAR

Billy Butler got dropped in the lineup, again, and the Royals lost to the Indians.

Raul Ibanez ranks ninth all-time in home runs struck past the age of 40. More impressive: He has been on the DL twice since 2004.

After a day in the sun, Colon returned to the shadows.

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“Gimme Something Good” by Ryan Adams.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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