KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has been cleared to begin swinging a bat after missing the past month with a stress fracture in his right hand.

Hosmer had another round of X-rays before the Royals' game against the Yankees on Monday, and they showed enough progress that he can begin taking dry swings. The hope is that Hosmer can ramp it up to hitting off a tee and in the cage in the next week.

Hosmer says he expects to be back for the final couple weeks of the regular season, and that he plans to be in the starting lineup when he returns. Designated hitter Billy Butler has been having his best stretch of the season while filling in at first base.

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