Carlos Guillen to begin rehab assignment Monday at Single-A

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Finally, some positive news for Carlos Guillen.

David Mayo of the Grand Rapids Press reports that the veteran infielder has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment and will get things started Monday with Single-A Lakeland.

Guillen has not played in a major league game since undergoing microfracture knee surgery in September of last season and is likely to need over two weeks of minor league at-bats in order to get his timing right. That puts his projected return somewhere around the All-Star break, maybe a little after.

Guillen, 35, is making $13 million this season in the final chapter of a four-year, $48 million extension that he signed with Detroit in March of 2007. He’s hit just .269/.352/.426 with 27 home runs and 129 RBI since the ink dried on that contract. The Tigers will hope for much better down the stretch this summer.

If Guillen gets going and proves capable of handling everyday innings, he should easily steal starting second base duties from Ryan Raburn, who is batting .199/.239/.329 through 64 games this season.