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07/24/08 4:30 AM ET

Milledge will return to Nats on Friday

Nats outfielder rehabbing strained groin at Triple-A

SAN FRANCISCO -- Center fielder Lastings Milledge will rejoin the Nationals on Friday against the Dodgers.

Milledge, who has been on the disabled list since June 28 because of a right groin strain, was promoted to Triple-A Columbus on Tuesday after playing two games for Rookie-level Gulf Coast. Milledge was 1-for-4 with a home run for the GC Nationals and was 1-for-8 for the Clippers.

"He is doing well with no limitations," Acta said. "He will be here sooner rather than later."

Once he returns, Milledge will return to his center-field spot, while Willie Harris will switch from center to left field. Harris has been swinging a hot bat and Acta said Harris deserves to play.

Entering Wednesday's action, Harris was hitting .373 with five home runs and 15 RBIs in his last 24 games.

"The way Willie is playing right now," Acta said, "it would be very tough to get him out of the lineup."

Meanwhile, Aaron Boone is slowly recovering from his left calf strain and had an MRI exam on Wednesday in San Francisco to investigate discomfort he's having during physical activities. The MRI confirmed the original diagnosis of a left calf strain, which has not completely healed. The MRI was examined by Dr. Ken Akizuki, who recommends continued treatment and rest.

Boone, 35, suffered the injury in the eighth inning on July 6 against the Reds while jogging to first base to pinch-run for first baseman Dmitri Young.

Before the injury, Boone was a valuable reserve, hitting .258 with five home runs and 17 RBIs. The Nationals were originally hoping he would be back by Tuesday, when they played the Giants in San Francisco.

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