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Rays expected to activate Franco ahead of Yankees series

Mike Carlson / Major League Baseball / Getty

The Tampa Bay Rays will receive a big jolt to their lineup ahead of this weekend's series against the New York Yankees, as they are expected to activate shortstop Wander Franco from the injured list.

The 21-year-old infielder is expected to meet the Rays in New York possibly as soon as Friday's series opener at Yankee Stadium, president of baseball operations Erik Neander said on Thursday, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin.

Franco hasn't played in the big leagues since July 9 after undergoing hamate bone surgery on his right wrist.

The young star began a minor-league rehab assignment in mid-August, but the club shut him down on several occasions due to hand soreness and lingering symptoms that occurred when he swung a bat.

The Dominican native resumed his rehab assignment on Wednesday, going 3-for-5 at Triple-A Durham.

Franco, who signed an 11-year, $182-million contract extension last November, was hitting .260/.308/.396 with five home runs and 23 RBIs before undergoing surgery.

The oft-injured Rays have seen several players return to their lineup as of late, including Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot, Harold Ramirez, and Yonny Chirinos. Chirinos pitched for the first time in more than two years on Wednesday.

Ace starter Tyler Glasnow also made his first minor-league rehab start on Wednesday, as he entered the final stages of his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

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