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Joe Mauer Injury Update: Catcher To Play Rehab Game in Fort Myers This Week

Joe Mauer has been on the disabled list since April 13 with bilateral leg weakness, but the injured Minnesota Twins catcher is expected to make a rehab appearance with the club's Fort Myers, Fla., affiliate sometime this week.

"He's doing a lot of running, ran the bases and everything's going good," manager Ron Gardenhire told 1500 ESPN on Sunday. "He still had a little bit of the soreness in his arm, and that's just from -- he's throwing, doing all the throwing and stuff like that. The plan is for him Monday or Tuesday to get into a game, start out as a DH and then you work your way into the rest of it."

Mauer wasn't in the lineup for Monday's game, but seems to be returning to health as the Pioneer Press's Kelsie Smith reported that he threw from 120-feet while preparing for a possible appearance on Tuesday.

While this news is good, Gardenhire told 1500 ESPN that he's leery about pushing his All-Star catcher to return before he's fully healthy.

"It's almost impossible for me to start pushing. We've seen already, he came out and it didn't work out. He said he was ready. I watched this, and then I watched the young man come in and was really, really sore," Gardenhire said. "It's impossible for me as a manager to try to force-feed anything. I'm just letting the training staff and the doctors do their thing, and when they tell him he's ready, he's going to be ready. I can't really push it any more than that."

Either way, this news is positive in at least Mauer seems to be inching closer to returning to the Twins.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.