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Dykstra hopes to return July 5


Lenny Dykstra is on an exercise program that he hopes will get him ready to play by July 5, when he comes off the disabled list.

The Philadelphia Phillies outfielder was injured in an auto accident May 6.

On Thursday, Dykstra rode a bicycle, walked on a treadmill and ran in a pool to get into playing shape, Phillies general manager Lee Thomas said.

Thomas, however, said he would be surprised if Dykstra returns by July 5.

Dykstra suffered three broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a fractured cheekbone when his sports car slammed into two trees on the way home from a teammate's bachelor party. Dykstra faces drunken-driving charges.

* REDS: Manager Lou Piniella was ejected in the first inning in Montreal on Thursday after arguing with umpire Bob Davidson after a pair of close pickoff plays.

On his way off the field, Piniella leaned at Davidson, squinted his eyes and used his hands to mimic a pair of glasses. Then, he tipped his cap and left. "[Davidson] was baiting me. It's like he wanted me to move on him. He said I can't look at him, and I said, 'I'd rather look at prettier things than you.' "

* YANKEES: Mike Witt left Thursday night's start for the New York Yankees after facing just four batters in Minnesota because of a sore right elbow. He missed the first 47 games of this season because of the elbow, and the same problem kept him idle for 55 games last year.

* EXPOS: The club gave major-league baseball a taste of business Canadian-style, announcing that the club's new ownership consortium includes significant financial contributions from government and labor union sources.

The 13-member group, headed by Expos president Claude Brochu, includes the city of Montreal and the province's largest labor union in equity positions, along with the province of Quebec as a guarantor for an $18 million capital loan that was needed to meet the $100 million sale price.

Twelve partners contributed $56 million to the purchase of the team from Charles Bronfman, and the city of Montreal kicked in $15 million. Aside from the Quebec government loan, the consortium will arrange its own short-term financing to complete the balance of sale.

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