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04/06/08 1:31 PM ET

No timetable for DeJesus' return

Royals outfielder improved; status for home opener uncertain

MINNEAPOLIS -- Center fielder David DeJesus' absence from the Royals' lineup reached five games on Sunday, and there's still no certainty about his return.

DeJesus came out of last Monday's opener at Detroit after two innings, because he aggravated a sprained right ankle suffered March 24. He hasn't played since.

"It's getting better every day," DeJesus said.

Yet, even with an open date on Monday, there's no assurance he'll be ready for the home opener on Tuesday against the New York Yankees.

"I didn't really have any preset determination when I'd get him in the lineup," manager Trey Hillman said. "So I'm definitely not going to push him for Opening Day if he's not ready. We'll see if he is."

Joey Gathright has replaced DeJesus in center field and the leadoff spot. Entering Sunday's game against the Twins, Gathright was 4-for-20 with two stolen bases.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.