D. Santana out for season with shoulder sprain

Timetable for recovery expected to be 4-6 weeks

D. Santana out for season with shoulder sprain

CLEVELAND -- Twins utility man Danny Santana was diagnosed with a Grade 2 shoulder sprain, and he is expected to miss the rest of the season, manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday.

Santana suffered the injury on Sunday, when he collided in left-center field with Robbie Grossman. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game and further testing found that he'll be out 4-6 weeks. Molitor said it's looking closer to a six-week timetable, which means he won't play again this year. He's now a candidate to be placed on the 60-day disabled list if the Twins want to open a spot on their 40-man roster, which is currently full.

"I don't think it's been officially announced, but that's what everybody is assuming," Molitor said. "We're just going to try our best to rehab him the rest of the month and send him home healthy so he can have a good winter of preparation to get ready for next year."

The injury didn't look serious at first glance, but Molitor said the injury is structurally similar to the one suffered by Indians catcher Yan Gomes, who has been out since July 17 and is just now getting ready to start a rehab assignment.

"He must've took a jolt with his arm in the wrong position that caused that injury," Molitor said. "It's too bad. He's had kind of an up-and-down year, in terms of both getting a chance to play and the hamstring injuries. And now we have to shut him down for the rest of the year."

Santana, 25, hit .240/.279/.326 with two homers, 10 doubles, two triples and 12 stolen bases in 75 games this year. As Molitor noted, Santana missed 14 games in April with a right hamstring strain before missing 16 games in June with a left hamstring strain. He also saw action at all three outfield spots, second base, shortstop and third base.

Santana steals second base

Santana remains a candidate to play in the Dominican Winter League like he did last year with Aguilas. But Molitor said he hasn't heard for sure if he'll play, but that it would make sense.

"I don't know his plans for the winter," Molitor said. "But with his total number of at-bats and the fact he's moved around positions, it wouldn't surprise me."

Worth noting

• Injured relievers Trevor May (back strain) and Tommy Milone (left biceps tendinitis) both are scheduled to throw bullpen sessions on Thursday at Target Field. But it's likely too late for either to start a rehab assignment with the Minor League season ending on Monday.

• Right-hander Phil Hughes, who had season-ending surgery to combat thoracic outlet syndrome on July 7, played catch for the first time on Wednesday at Target Field. The Twins are hoping Hughes will be healthy heading into the offseason, but they don't see him throwing off a mound before the end of the season. He'll continue to throw off flat ground.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.