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Blanks expected to return vs. Marlins

Blanks expected to return vs. Marlins

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ATLANTA -- For the third straight game, Padres outfielder Kyle Blanks was not in manager Bud Black's lineup for the series finale against the Braves on Thursday. However, he is expected to be back on the field sometime this weekend when the team travels to Miami for a three-game series with the Marlins.

Blanks left Sunday's game in the eighth inning with soreness in his right foot that has been attributed to plantar fasciitis. He has participated in pregame workouts before every game in Atlanta and the soreness has diminished significantly.

The Padres have won the first two games of their series with the Braves, so Blanks' presence hasn't been missed too much. Black indicated that Blanks could play Thursday if he was needed, but the team is trying to be cautious.

"Blanks is playable," Black said. "He's still a little sore. He'll get some starts this weekend to get him back in the mix."

Black said that Blanks has no trouble hitting or running straight ahead, but still experiences some pain when he has to plant his foot or change directions. That would be problematic for Blanks while running the bases and playing defense.

In the 12 games prior to his injury, Blanks was hitting .333 with three home runs and four doubles. Although the Padres have been successful in Atlanta without Blanks, Black knows his young slugger is eager to get back onto the field as soon as possible.

"All these young guys, where they are in their careers, they want to be in there," Black said. "Players like playing every day."

Adam Rosenberg is an associate reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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