MIAMI (AP) — Sidelined for more than a year by injuries, Miami Marlins second baseman Rafael Furcal played for the first time this season Friday night.
And now that Furcal's healthy, manager Mike Redmond wants him in the lineup every day.
Furcal missed all of 2013 because of an elbow injury, and sat out the first 2 1/2 months of this season with hamstring and groin injuries. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list before Friday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and batted leadoff.
The 36-year-old Furcal spent nearly two months in the minors on a rehabilitation assignment that was interrupted twice when he aggravated his injuries.
"I'm excited to be here," the three-time All-Star said. "I'm waiting all year for this moment. I think I played in the minor leagues more than I had played in my career."
Furcal turned two double plays but went 0 for 6 in an 8-6, 13-inning loss to the Pirates.
The Marlins signed Furcal to a $3 million, one-year deal last offseason. Despite doubts about his durability, Redmond doesn't plan to coddle him.
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