There were multiple reports Tuesday that Ichiro's jersey is now hanging in a locker at the Mariners spring training facility in Arizona.

However the franchise has not issued a public statement about the return of a franchise icon.

But the potential signing could be especially good news.

The Seattle Mariners are running out of healthy outfielders. To the rescue — Ichiro?

Ben Gamel will miss opening day, the Mariners said Monday, because of a strained oblique muscle that's expected to sideline him four to six weeks.

That could open a spot for Ichiro Suzuki, and a deal with the Mariners might be close.

Suzuki was the AL MVP and Rookie of the Year for Seattle in 2001 and remained a fan favorite until he was traded away in 2012. The 44-year-old Suzuki spent the past three seasons in Miami, batting .255 last year and starting 23 times in the outfield.

Gamel hit .275 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs in 134 games last year during his first full season in the majors.

The Mariners were hopeful Gamel would miss only a few days, but an MRI showed a more extensive problem. He first felt the injury after batting practice late last week.