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Joe Mauer to test concussion-like symptoms in first minor league stint since 2014

The Twins also gave a promising update on Byron Buxton.

Joe Mauer has not made an appearance in the minor leagues since 2014, but the former All-Star for the Twins will do exactly that with the Rochester Red Wings as he tries to work his way back from concussion-like symptoms. 

Mauer, 35, will head to Rochester, New York for a rehab assignment with a goal of playing multiple games without experiencing the concussion-like symptoms that have plagued him since May 18. 

Minnesota's plan is to have Mauer join Triple-A Rochester on Monday and then play Tuesday, with a goal of playing a full game and being able to bounce back and play again Wednesday. 

"I'm hopeful," Twins manager Paul Molitor said Sunday. "We haven't checked all the boxes. One of them is including playing a nine-inning game. Probably DH the first game and see if we can get him out there the next day."

Mauer strained his neck diving for a ball against the Angels on May 11. One week later concussion-like symptoms appeared, forcing him to leave midway through Minnesota's May 18 game and he hasn't played since. 

The Twins say Mauer's main symptoms are balance issues and sensitivity to light. 

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Meanwhile, Byron Buxton appears to be closing in on a return after he was placed on the 10-day disabled list for a second time this season.  

The speedy outfielder missed 20 games in mid-April to mid-May because of migraines and a hairline fracture to his big toe. He returned to the lineup, still in pain from the toe injury, on May 10, but was placed back on the DL May 30 because discomfort from the injury wasn't going away. 

Buxton is joining the Twins on a big road trip starting Tuesday in Detroit and ending Sunday in Cleveland. 

"Byron is going to stay with us and continue his work as it's coming along," Molitor said. "Improvement the last couple of days. We're going to take him with us so he can do his work as well as continue advancing his hitting and see how it goes those first couple of days in Detroit."

The Twins are 5 1/2 games behind Cleveland in the AL Central standings. 

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