Cano to test broken toe in Dominican League games

CanoFestRobinson Cano has been granted permission by the Mariners to play a handful of games in the Dominican Winter League starting next week as he returns from a broken toe that was injured during the MLB All-Star Series in Japan in November.

Cano is expected to be used primarily as a designated hitter for Estrellas de Oriente starting on Tuesday. At that point, the club has five remaining round-robin playoff games and a chance to advance to the final round after Jan. 17.

Cano, 32, broke the little toe on his right foot when he was hit by a pitch in an exhibition game against Samurai Japan on Nov. 15. He was held out of baseball activities for about a month while the foot healed, but is now fully recovered.

The six-time American League All-Star second baseman hasn’t played in the Dominican League since 2008-09, but asked Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik this week if it would be okay to perform in a few games in his homeland this winter.

“Robinson approached us about playing games in the Dominican Winter League and we have granted him permission to play in a limited amount of games,” Zduriencik said. “Robinson has reported to us his broken right pinkie toe is fully healed and he wants to get on a baseball field to test it before reporting for Spring Training. We look forward to Robinson reporting to Peoria in a little over a month ready to go for the 2015 season.”

Cano will be in the second season of a 10-year, $240 million deal with Seattle. He’s scheduled to report to the Mariners camp on Feb. 24 with the rest of the Mariners position players, with the first full-squad workout on Feb. 25.

Mariners pitchers and catchers are due to report on Feb. 20 and be on the field for the first time on Feb. 21.

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