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Furcal optimistic groin injury not serious

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MIAMI -- Before his latest setback, Rafael Furcal was so close to returning. Now, he remains optimistic he still isn't that far away.

The 36-year-old second baseman is dealing with a right groin strain, which he suffered last Friday night while participating in a rehab assignment game for Double-A Jacksonville.

Running from first to third base on a hit, his right groin tightened. He remained in the game, and scored a run, but was replaced after the inning.

Prior to the groin injury, Furcal was hopeful to join the Marlins around May 6, when the Mets visit Marlins Park.

Now, the best-case scenario is he will return to a rehab assignment, most likely at Triple-A New Orleans, either Thursday or Friday.

"I'm feeling good," Furcal said. "Just a little tight in my groin. But in a couple of days, I'll go back there and play again."

Furcal opened the season on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. He says that isn't an issue right now.

"My hammy is good," he said. "Everything is feeling fine."

The Marlins signed Furcal as a free agent to play second base, but the 36-year-old has dealt with the hamstring issue since mid-March.

Furcal is in Miami this week, getting treatment with the team. On Tuesday he went through infield drills and took batting practice.

"I want to make sure everything is fine," he said.

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

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