Mauer progressing, but no timetable for return

Mauer progressing, but no timetable for return

Mauer progressing, but no timetable for return
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer participated in his first on-field workout with his teammates on Tuesday at Target Field as part of his rehab process for bilateral leg weakness.

Mauer took soft-toss from hitting coach Joe Vavra on the field and reported that while he's making progress, there's still no timetable for his return.

"We got on the field today, which was good, and I'm feeling a lot better," Mauer said. "I've been hitting off the tee for a couple days, and we got out on the field -- which was good -- and just took some tosses."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire watched Mauer from center field and said the "ball was jumping off his bat." He added that he expects the next step to be a round of full batting practice, which could come as early as sometime during this five-game homestand that ends Sunday against the Blue Jays.

"It'll be nice to have him out there doing the BP thing with us," Gardenhire said. "That's goal for the homestand, maybe. Just doing full rounds of BP, and then we'll go from there."

Mauer, though, said he couldn't predict whether he'll be ready to take full batting practice in the next few days, as he's still dealing with the soreness in his legs.

"I hope so," Mauer said about taking batting practice this week. "We'll see how I feel tomorrow. It's my first day out on the field, so I'm probably going to be pretty sore tomorrow. So that's [why it's] tough to put a date on when I'm gonna be back, because I don't really know what tomorrow is gonna bring."

Mauer, 28, also said he has yet to do any squatting or catching drills, but that he's getting stronger, especially after gaining back the 15 pounds he lost as a result of the flu that plagued him right around the time he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 14.

"It's coming back," Mauer said. "My legs are feeling stronger, so it's good. I'm making good progress, but still got some work to do. Then you've got to get back into baseball shape, things like that. But yeah, I still got some work to do, and I wish I knew when I would be back, and I know everybody else wishes too, but you just go to keep going in the right direction."

Mauer, who signed an eight-year contract worth $184 million in the offseason, also maintained that he wants to return as a catcher, and won't rush to come back as a designated hitter because he wants to be 100 percent healthy, so he doesn't suffer another setback.

"I think I'll come back and catch," Mauer said. "I think that's what they want me to do, and that's what I want to do. It's still May, and I can try and come back and get out there before I'm ready to go and I'd be back where I was a couple of weeks ago. That's what we definitely want to do." -- Rhett Bollinger