Mired in another losing stretch of baseball, the Twins have provided some much-needed good news about the status of Joe Mauer.
Mauer, on the disabled list since May 19 because of concussion-like symptoms and a strained neck, could return to the lineup when the Twins open a four-game series at home against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
"We've been pleased," manager Paul Molitor said of Mauer's progress on Tuesday. "On almost a daily basis activity has increased, including more intensified baseball work. Today, reports were good. He hit, he took grounders, he ran. Pineda threw a bullpen back at Target Field and Joe stood in for that so he could track some pitches."
The Twins say Mauer, who is fifth in the American League with a .404 on-base percentage, hasn't experienced any concussion-like symptoms for the past three or four days, and if that remains the case he could play Thursday.
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Mauer suffered the neck strain while diving for a foul ball in Los Angeles on May 11, but the concussion-like symptoms didn't begin until days later, at which point the Twins took caution and placed him on the DL.
Mauer has a history with concussions, including a debilitating concussion in 2013 that forced him to stop catching and move to first base.