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04/23/08 3:35 PM ET

Granderson rejoining Tigers

Detroit (8-13) vs. Texas (7-14), Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET

DETROIT -- Not only are the Tigers getting their all-around sparkplug back on Wednesday, they hope to get the guy behind him, too.

Curtis Granderson's sore legs checked out OK on Wednesday afternoon, and he'll make his first appearance in a Tigers uniform this season on Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers, so Detroit will get an appreciation for how much it missed him. If Placido Polanco's back feels fine, he could be back in the lineup behind him.

Statistically, the gain is obvious. Granderson joined the elite company of Willie Mays, Jimmy Rollins and Wildfire Schulte last year by hitting 20 home runs, 20 doubles and 20 triples while stealing 20 bases. Combined with a batting average topping .300, his total bases rivaled totals put up by American League MVP Alex Rodriguez, AL batting champ Magglio Ordonez and All-Star slugger David Ortiz.

Physically, the Tigers will have him back. He's expected to head back from Class A West Michigan to Detroit on Wednesday. Whether he's in the lineup is another story.

Granderson went 1-for-3 with a walk in his final rehab game for Whitecaps, leaving him at 7-for-20 over five games between West Michigan and Triple-A Toledo. However, he left the game early, reportedly with continued soreness in his legs, and Tigers medical officials checked him out on Wednesday afternoon.

The soreness in Granderson's legs was believed to be an adjustment to playing again regularly after missing about three weeks since a fastball in on the hands broke a bone in Granderson's right middle finger on March 22. In many ways, his rehab stint had been as much or more a matter of getting up to game conditioning and speed as it was about making sure he was fine hitting and throwing with the finger.

If Polanco's back is fine, he's expected to take on more of his old form after struggling for much of the season's first few weeks. He hasn't played since Friday, when he felt numbness in his left leg that continued into Saturday.

Doctors diagnosed Polanco with inflammation in a nerve in his back, and he has spent the last few days under rest and medication to calm it down. Once the inflammation is out, he shouldn't have to deal with it for the remainder of the season.

"When he tells me he's ready to play, I'm going to play him," manager Jim Leyland said.

In other words, it'll be up to Polanco to tell Leyland when he needs a day off.

Add in Gary Sheffield, who has a slight chance of returning to action on Wednesday after taking cortisone shots in both of his shoulders on Tuesday, and the Tigers have had the top third of their batting order out of action. Sometime soon, that should change.

Pitching matchup
DET: LHP Kenny Rogers (1-3, 6.33 ERA)
Rogers owns a 2-1 record in four starts, three of them strong outings, against the Rangers since leaving them for Detroit following the 2005 season. Whether it's the matchup that helps Rogers out of his season-starting funk remains to be seen. Though he earned his first win of the season last Friday at Toronto, he still wasn't his normal self in terms of command, walking four batters over 6 2/3 innings of three-hit ball while allowing four runs.

TEX: RHP Luis Mendoza (0-2, 9.00 ERA)
After starting the year on the disabled list with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand, Mendoza allowed seven runs in three-plus innings against the Red Sox. He is a power sinker ball pitcher but he needs to complement that with a better breaking ball and/or changeup. In eight Major League appearances over the past two seasons, left-handed hitters are batting .346 and right-handers are hitting .205.

Wednesday is expected to be the first day of the Tigers' infield switch. Carlos Guillen will move from first base to third, with Miguel Cabrera heading from third to first. ... Edgar Renteria is 22-for-54 (.407) over his last 14 games with four doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs. ... Rangers shortstop Michael Young is 9-for-17 lifetime against ex-teammate Rogers with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs.

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Up next
• Thursday: Tigers (Jeremy Bonderman, 1-2, 4.37) vs. Rangers (Jason Jennings, 0-3, 7.08), 1:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Tigers (Nate Robertson, 0-2, 7.48) vs. Angels (Ervin Santana, 3-0, 2.67), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Tigers (Armando Galarraga, 2-0, 1.50) vs. Angels (Dustin Moseley, 1-2, 7.78), 3:55 p.m. ET

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.