Nolasco, on the 15-day disabled list since June 4 with a right ankle impingement, threw on flat ground Tuesday without any issues. But his next step will be testing the ankle while throwing from a mound, which bothered him last time out. Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Nolasco will throw off a mound on Thursday or Friday.
Nolasco tried to throw a bullpen session on June 14, but he had to cut it short due to discomfort. The Twins remain hopeful the orthotics will help, and that he'll be able to avoid surgery.
Once Nolasco is healthy, the Twins will have some decisions to make with their starting rotation, as right-hander Ervin Santana is lined up to make his return to the rotation on July 5 in Kansas City once his 80-game suspension is up.
But manager Paul Molitor said the Twins aren't worried about how the rotation will shake out just yet.
"You kind of compartmentalize decisions that you're potentially confronting, but that one has probably not reached the middle burner yet, much less the front burner," Molitor said. "We're looking at it. We have some things set up until the end of the month. Sometimes things become more clear the closer you get to the decision. But I hope it's problematic in the sense it's difficult and that a guy who is deserving might have to be moved to a new role. That would be a good thing."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.