Pinto ready to catch bullpen; Duensing set to return Friday

Pinto ready to catch bullpen; Duensing set to return Friday

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins catcher Josmil Pinto and left-hander Brian Duensing are both making progress with their injuries, as Pinto's concussion-like symptoms are gone, while the swelling in Duensing's left quad has subsided.

Pinto, who was hit on the head three times on a follow-through from Orioles outfielder Adam Jones' bat on Saturday, has been taking batting practice without any issues. He also participated in pitchers' fielding practice drills on Thursday, and the next step is for him to catch a bullpen on Friday.

Twins manager Paul Molitor stayed back to watch Pinto work out before Thursday's game against the Red Sox and said everything went well, but the club doesn't know when he'll be ready to play. Pinto will also have to be reinstated by Major League Baseball because of the concussion protocols, according to general manager Terry Ryan.

"He's getting closer," said Molitor. "We had him working on throwing in the morning and was about to hit in the cage before we departed. I haven't gotten anything concrete on when he'll be set loose to play. He missed enough time. We'll have to do it gradually."

Duensing strikes out Johnson

Duensing, who was hit by a comebacker above his left knee from Toronto's Devon Travis on Tuesday, said his quad is feeling much better. Duensing also participated in pitchers' fielding practice drills on Thursday, and he is scheduled to pitch on Friday against the Pirates.

"He's doing fine," Molitor said. "We'll get him back out there tomorrow."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.