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San Diego Padres expected to activate Fernando Tatis Jr. on Friday

Apr 13, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) plays catch on the field before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is expected to be activated from the injured list in time for his club’s first game this season against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports Thursday.

The defending World Series champion Dodgers visit San Diego for a three-game series that starts Friday.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Thursday was Tatis’ best day since his injury “as far as his at-bats,” The Athletic reported.

Tatis, 22, dislocated his left shoulder on a strikeout swing on April 5, but he avoided having to undergo surgery.

Read More: San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. dodges serious injury

At the time, general manager A.J. Preller told reporters Tatis sustained slight labral tearing, consistent with a subluxation injury, but said he expected his star to be able to return at the end of the 10-day stint on the IL.

In only 148 career games and early in his third major league season, Tatis has 40 home runs and 99 runs with a .297/.371/.575 batting line. He signed a 14-year, $340 million contract extension just before the start of the regular season.

The Padres entered this season with high expectations after a busy offseason that included adding pitchers Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove to a team that made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years last season before getting swept by the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.

San Diego beat the Pirates 8-3 on Thursday to split a four-game series in Pittsburgh.

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–Field Level Media