As you probably have noticed, the Tigers aren't going to rush injured centerfielder Austin Jackson. He's been out with a hamstring injury since May 12 and is technically eligible to come off the disabled list.

Manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday that Jackson was "doing better," but he's not sure when he might start a rehab assignment.

"I am hoping, possibly, sometime on this trip he can go out and get some at-bats," Leyland said, referring to the team's five-day two city trip that starts in Pittsburgh Wednesday. "But I can't swear to that."

Had the Toledo Mud Hens been playing at home — they are on the road until Friday — Jackson may have stayed here and worked with them. Instead, he is traveling with the team to Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

"It would be tough for me to stay here and get in any baseball activity," Jackson said. "Each day hopefully we are taking a step in the right direction. Being able to do baseball activities while rehabbing will speed the process up."

Jackson has been throwing and taking some swings in the batting cages, but he hasn't done much baseball work on the field. He's hoping to do more of that on this road trip.

"I am going to try and do more baseball activity," he said. "I am going to try to start hitting on the field and get out there and test it, seeing how far we can go. That's the only way you can get a feel for it."

The play of Don Kelly and Avisail Garcia in center field has helped Leyland stay patient with Jackson. The plight of one of the Tigers' top young shortstop prospects has also been a cautionary tale for Leyland.

Dixon Machado has also been hampered by a hamstring injury. He missed nearly two full months, returned for four games — and got five hits in those four games — only to re-aggravate the injury.

"They gave him all kinds of time," Leyland said, shaking his head. "Those injuries can be tough. They can linger, you know? They gave that kid all kinds of time, he got back and he's out again."

That's the scenario the Tigers want to avoid with Jackson.