Hicks headed to Rochester for rehab stint

Center fielder, recovering from hamstring strain, could return Friday

Hicks headed to Rochester for rehab stint

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Aaron Hicks worked out without any issues at Target Field on Saturday, and is set to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Sunday.

Hicks, on the 15-day disabled list since Aug. 19 with a left hamstring strain, left for Rochester on Saturday night. He hit on the field and ran before Saturday's game against the Astros and was cleared to start his rehab assignment.

Hicks is eligible to come off the DL on Friday, and if all goes to plan, he'll rejoin the team in time for their three-game series in Houston on Friday.

"The plan as far as I know is that he worked out today and continued to do everything like yesterday," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We're getting him out there tonight and he'll DH tomorrow. We'll give him an opportunity to play three games in Rochester and we'll probably try to expose him to some defense other than center field to increase his flexibility."

By the time Hicks gets back, the rosters will have expanded, so the Twins won't have to make a corresponding roster move. But with top prospect Byron Buxton seeing time in center field, Hicks could also see time in left field and right field so they're planning to prepare him for that in Rochester.

"I've been feeling really good," Hicks said. "The last four days I've been feeling good without any pain. I've been able to run and hit. So they gave me the OK to head out to Rochester and play in a couple games and go from there."

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.