Twins hope to get Sano back during homestand

MRI on young slugger's ailing back shows no significant issues

Twins hope to get Sano back during homestand

NEW YORK -- The Twins hope to have Miguel Sano back in the lineup by the middle of next week, after an MRI exam on his back showed no significant issues.

Sano hasn't played since Monday because of what the Twins called lower back tightness on the right side. When the pain continued, the team sent him back to Minnesota to see its doctor and have the MRI done.

"The MRI was good," manager Paul Molitor said Saturday. "There was just a little sign of an old injury. We're hoping he can do some light swinging over the weekend, and take batting practice Tuesday."

Molitor said he wants to see Sano return, even though there's little time left in the season. The Twins open their final homestand of the season on Tuesday, with three games against the Tigers followed by three with the Mariners before closing the campaign with a six-game road trip.

"It sends the message that you play the year out," he said.

Sano has played 106 games this season, with a .236 batting average and 23 home runs.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.