Healing Gibson, Escobar closer to returning

Healing Gibson, Escobar closer to returning

DETROIT -- The Twins have battled injuries this season, but two key players are on track to return soon.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson (strained right shoulder), who has been on the 15-day disabled list since late April, threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on May 10 and reported no issues. He threw another on Friday and another on Monday, also with no issues. The next step is throwing to batters on Thursday, followed by a possible rehab assignment.

"It went well. He threw 45 pitches," manager Paul Molitor said on Monday. "He's scheduled to face hitters at home on Thursday, and then we can talk about him going out and pitching a ballgame, if all goes well."

Gibson was 0-3 with a 6.10 ERA in four starts this season before being placed on the DL.

Meanwhile, shortstop Eduardo Escobar (strained groin) has been running. Molitor said Escobar is itching to get into rehab games, but the Twins are taking their time.

Escobar has been on the 15-day DL since May 7 and is eligible to return at the end of next weekend. He's hitting .237 this season in 102 plate appearances, with five doubles and six RBIs.

"From what I understand, he's done everything he can do, running-wise," Molitor said. "They're bringing in a batting practice pitcher to throw to him on the field, but he's been hitting in the cages. He's anxious to play. We're talking about waiting until Thursday, but it hasn't been determined when he'll go out and play. I think he's eligible Sunday."

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.