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05/21/11 10:26 PM ET

Wells expects to return within three weeks

Angels outfielder works out strained groin by doing water drills

ANAHEIM -- As Vernon Wells continues to rehab his strained right groin, the Angels left fielder said Saturday that he is two to three weeks away from returning.

"I'd like to be back out there tomorrow," Wells said. "I'm hoping though, within the next two to three weeks, to be back on the field. They are telling me closer to three weeks."

After injuring his right groin May 9 against the White Sox and placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day, Wells said he could tell something wasn't right by the way the groin sounded as he hurt it.

"Any time you sort of hear something pop, it isn't a good thing," Wells said. "The hard thing for me is trying not to come back too soon. It is a struggle.

"I need people around me to tell me to slow down, and that is what they are doing."

Wells took part in movement drills in water on Saturday and continues to do strengthening drills around his core, but he still is not running.

While the pain has subsided and he has had no setbacks, Wells said the rehab has worn him out.

"They are happy with the progression," Wells said. "They put you through so many different things. It is a matter of strengthening everything around it and then getting to movement and swinging, which should be the last thing.

"I'm not allowed to swing the bat or do too much. I don't want to have a setback."

Struggling at the plate in 35 games before being placed on the DL, Wells hit .183 with four home runs and 13 RBI.

Amarista starts at second, DH Izturis leads off

ANAHEIM -- With Howard Kendrick still out of the lineup nursing a sore right hamstring, Angels manager Mike Scioscia mixed up his lineup for Saturday's game against the Braves.

Alexi Amarista, who got the start in left field for Friday's game, took Kendrick's place at second base and hit in the eight spot. Maicer Izturis, who manned second base in the 9-0 win over the Braves, was penciled into the leadoff spot as a designated hitter for the seventh time this season.

"Izzy should be able to play second tomorrow," Scioscia said. "He got hit on the calf and it was a little stiff. He could have played defense if we had to, but we will just let him catch his breath a little bit."

Bobby Abreu, Anaheim's usual DH, started in left field.

"Howie is getting better. Anytime it is a hamstring, you are always worried," Scioscia said. "We aren't going to rush it and that is why he isn't playing today, but he feels good. He'll start moving around tomorrow and see when he is ready to play."

While Kendrick hasn't run on the hamstring, Scioscia said he would be available to pinch-hit in Saturday's game.

Worth noting

Scott Kazmir, on the disabled list with lower back soreness, pitched a bullpen session on Saturday in Arizona and should begin a rehab assignment Tuesday in Triple-A Salt Lake. "This is what Kaz needs right now, and hopefully he will take some steps forward," Scioscia said. "Right now, we are going to take it day-by-day." ... Scioscia will not manage Sunday's game against the Braves, and instead will be at his son Matthew's graduation from Notre Dame. ...Wally Joyner threw out the honorary first pitch before Saturday's game as part of 81 alumni first pitches during the 50th anniversary season of the Angels.

Quinn Roberts is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.