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Dipoto: "No timeline, no date" on Kendrys Morales' return

AngelslogoAngels General Manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday that he's planning to inspect a Friday workout in Arizona by first baseman Kendrys Morales, recovering from surgery to his left ankle, which was broken in May 2010.

"He's working out now -- physical therapy, baseball specific drills," Dipoto said during the formal announcement of second baseman Howie Kendrick's four-year contract extension.

The Angels have committed about $3 million to the switch-hitting Morales for 2012, although it's uncertain when he'll return to play after breaking the ankle by jumping on home plate celebrating a game-winning home run.

"There's no timeline, no date on the calendar being saved for him -- whenever Kendrys' body mends," Dipoto said.

Dipoto departed for Arizona on Tuesday to attend organizational meetings.

The signing of slugging MVP first baseman Albert Pujols gives the Angels time to wait, although Dipoto said he was excited by the prospect of placing Morales in the lineup (likely as designated hitter) with Pujols. In 2009, Morales hit .306 with 34 homers and 108 runs batted in.

"We'll start seeing him regularly [at the start of spring training in February]," Dipoto said. "All signs are positive. I wouldn't ponder a guess as to when he'll be back, but we've got Pujols, [Bobby] Abreu and [Mark] Trumbo to help us fill in, with the upside of Kendrys coming back."

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