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Helton expects to return to lineup on Sunday

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DENVER -- Rockies first baseman Todd Helton declared Friday that his left forearm strain has healed and he will be back in the lineup Sunday against the Rays.

Helton took batting practice in Los Angeles and again at Coors Field and has been throwing for most of this week. Helton is hitting .268 with one home run, three doubles and 10 RBIs. At 39, he will not need a Minor League rehab assignment.

"He could wake up on Christmas morning, go out and hit two doubles," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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