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05/30/08 9:31 PM ET

Twins have a new daddy on their team

Punto's wife gives birth to a healthy baby girl on Friday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Nick Punto is a father.

His wife, Natalie, gave birth to Nicole Jayne at 2:51 p.m. CT on Friday. Nicole weighed nine pounds and 14 ounces and measured 21 1/4 inches. The baby was delivered via C-section, and Natalie is in recovery and doing fine.

Now that his wife has given birth, Punto is in line to return to the Twins on Saturday. He's currently on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring.

"He's fine," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Tuesday. "His legs feel great and his arm feels good. He swung the bat really good today."

Punto had been rehabbing in Fort Myers, Fla. He returned to Minneapolis on Thursday in order to be present for the birth.

The Twins are eagerly anticipating Punto's return. The club's middle infield has been in shambles, with Punto, Matt Tolbert (left thumb) and Adam Everett (right shoulder) all injured. Brendan Harris was moved to shortstop after the onslaught of injuries, and Alexi Casilla was called up to play second base.

Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.