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Furcal to make Marlins debut on Saturday

Furcal to make Marlins debut on Saturday

JUPITER, Fla. -- Miami's first Grapefruit League game is set for Friday. Rafael Furcal will debut on Saturday.

The Marlins are in no rush to push the 36-year-old, who is converting to second base and returning from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

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Physically, Furcal is fine. But the team is giving the veteran periodic no-throw days. Wednesday was one of them.

Manager Mike Redmond said Furcal will play on Saturday.

Miami has a split-squad day set for Saturday. The Marlins face St. Louis at Roger Dean Stadium, and Furcal will play in that game. Their other game will be against the Mets at Port St. Lucie.

"He feels great," Redmond said. "Everything is good. His legs are good. His arm is good. We're going to ease him into it. He's a guy who has been banged up the past couple of years. We need him for the long haul."

Furcal missed all of last year due to his surgery.

In 2012 with St. Louis, he appeared in 121 games.

"I know it's not going to take him a ton of time getting him ready for Opening Day," Redmond said. "We've been monitoring his work all spring. Those guys have been throwing a lot, taking a lot of ground balls, and making a lot of throws."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less