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03/02/09 6:42 PM EST

Bradley to DH for Cubs on Wednesday

Outfielder could be back in outfield for Friday's game vs. Dodgers

MESA, Ariz. -- Milton Bradley will be the designated hitter for the Cubs on Wednesday, his first action since last Thursday when he was pulled because of some tightness in his left thigh.

Bradley, who took batting practice on Monday, is expected back in the outfield on Friday when the Cubs host the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his only at-bat, he drew a walk in the first inning and was lifted for a pinch-runner.

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"The bottom line is for him being ready for Opening Day," Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry said Monday. "I wouldn't take any chances right now with anything. You'd rather be safe than sorry."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Bradley's condition had improved with treatment.

"Let's judge this thing April 6," Piniella said. "Let's not judge it in Spring Training. Let's give this young man every opportunity to get 100 percent and get him strong and that's what we'll use Spring Training for. We don't want him healthy right now -- we'd like to have him healthy now -- but our goal is to have him healthy April 6 and ready to go."

In case you haven't checked your calendar, April 6 is Opening Day for the Cubs.

Bradley played in only six games last spring and the brief at-bats didn't seem to bother him.

"To be honest, when I was playing and we had the shortened Spring Training of three weeks -- when was that, 1990? -- as far as position players go, that was great," Perry said.

Bradley will not go with the team to Las Vegas for a quick series Wednesday and Thursday. A split squad will play the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday in Goodyear, Ariz., and then have Thursday off.

"Sooner or later, you're going to have to get some at-bats," Piniella said. "What's today, the third of March, the second of March? The Ides of March?"

Actually, that's March 15.

"I'm only two weeks off," Piniella said. "Maybe my 'Ides' are different than the real 'Ides.'"

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