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Punto returns after missing four games

Punto returns after missing four games

MINNEAPOLIS -- Infielder Nick Punto started at third base in the Twins' series opener against the Rangers on Friday after missing four games with a sore finger.

Punto had injections in his left ring finger after injuring it while swinging the bat against the Brewers last weekend, and he hadn't started for the Twins since May 22.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said he was cleared to play after taking early batting practice and fielding drills Friday, stating everything felt good afterward.