Austin Jackson could return to the Tigers next weekend

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Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson has been on the disabled list for almost four weeks — much longer than expected — with a strained left hamstring.

But his return is apparently drawing near.

According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, A-Jax is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment early this week with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens and could rejoin the Tigers’ active roster next weekend in Minnesota if everything goes smoothly.

Jackson, 26, was hitting .272/.333/.371 with two homers, five stolen bases, 33 runs scored and 11 RBI in 34 games before suffering the hamstring strain. He hit .300/.377/.479 with 16 homers, 12 steals, 103 runs scored and 66 RBI in 137 games last year.

Avisail Garcia has been serving as Detroit’s primary center fielder in Jackson’s absence.