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06/28/09 1:50 PM ET

Ramirez gearing up by taking cuts

Slugging third baseman eager to rejoin Cubs

CHICAGO -- Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez took batting practice Sunday for the third straight day, and he could be headed for a rehab assignment soon.

Ramirez, on the disabled list since May 9 because of a dislocated left shoulder, had some soreness Sunday before he hit, but said he expected that.

"It's like when you don't lift weights for a while, and then you lift, it's that kind of soreness," Ramirez said. "[Saturday], I swung pretty hard."

He took batting practice on Friday, but he didn't swing as hard as he did Saturday. This was the first time he's hit since he was hurt.

"It's only my second BP," Ramirez said. "I expect that. The first day, I didn't swing hard at all. Yesterday, I let it go a little bit. It's step by step."

The Cubs were 16-13 and 2 1/2 games out when Ramirez was hurt in a game in Milwaukee. They were 35-36 and 3 1/2 games back entering Sunday's game against the Chicago White Sox.

Ramirez still has to play in the Minor Leagues before he's activated, and there's no timetable. He is eager.

"I can't wait to get out there and play," Ramirez said. "It's been a while. I can't wait."

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