Schafer available, but Santana, Perkins still out

Schafer available, but Santana, Perkins still out

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Danny Santana and closer Glen Perkins remain sidelined due to injury, but outfielder Jordan Schafer was cleared to return to action on Sunday.

Santana suffered a lower back strain making a throw from center field in the second inning of Saturday's game against the Angels. But the injury isn't considered serious and Santana is expected to return in a few days.

"From what the doctors told me after the game and what the trainers told me today, it's just a little tweak," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's on his left side from throwing on his follow through. They don't think it's going to be too many days."

Perkins, meanwhile, is dealing with neck stiffness, but an MRI exam on Saturday revealed no structural damage or pinched nerves. Like Santana, Perkins is also expected to return soon.

"We're day-to-day with those two," Gardenhire said.

Schafer, meanwhile, suffered bruised ribs while running into the left-field wall on Friday. He was held of action on Saturday and wasn't in the lineup again on Sunday, but has been cleared to swing a bat.

"Schafer came in today and felt better," Gardenhire said. "He took some swings. And says he's available. Schafer said he feels better and can swing."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.