The Twins activated Jason Kubel from the disabled list after Thursday's 6-2 loss, meaning their best hitter from the first half of the season could be back in the starting lineup Friday.
Kubel, who has missed 47 games because of a sprained left foot, returned from his rehab stint with Class AAA Rochester on Thursday after going 6-for-18 with a home run and four walks.
To make room on the roster for Kubel, the Twins optioned lefthanded pitcher Scott Diamond to Rochester, a move that leaves them with 12 pitchers.
Manager Ron Gardenhire spoke to Kubel on Wednesday.
"I wanted to make sure he was ready," Gardenhire said. "And he said, 'Gardy I'm ready. I'm seeing it really good.'"
Kubel batted .310 with five homers, 30 RBI and an .820 OPS before injuring the foot while trying to make a leaping catch in Detroit on May 30.
Asked how he'll fit Kubel back into the lineup, Gardenhire said, "You know [Jim] Thome's not going to be able to play every day. This allows Kubel to get in there [at DH]. I can put Kubel in right field, I can put [Michael Cuddyer] at first and DH Thome. I can get them all in there and [Joe] Mauer behind the plate. You'll see a little bit more of that, but there's going to be times, obviously, when Thome's not going to play."
Kubel also took some ground balls at first base during his rehab. Gardenhire said Kubel eventually could see some time there, but only after getting more practice.
The Twins activated Kevin Slowey from the DL and optioned him to Rochester. Scouts from the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Dodgers watched Slowey pitch for Rochester on Wednesday, when he allowed five runs over seven innings. All five of those runs came on two home runs in the third inning.
Gardenhire saw a lung specialist Wednesday and was given more medication to treat an upper-respiratory illness he's been fighting since before the All-Star break.
Gardenhire said he has a viral infection in his lungs, as well as a sinus infection.
"We'll knock it out with drugs; that's all we can do," Gardenhire said.
Gardenhire has waited to see how he feels during each game, often retreating to his office with bench coach Scott Ullger taking over the managing duties.
"I don't know how much more you can rest than sitting up in my office with my feet up anyway," Gardenhire said. "I'm not doing a lot out here right now, I'm just coming to the ballpark.
"Yes, Mr. [Jim] Pohlad said, 'Just stay home.' But I have a hard time doing that."
Gardenhire said he only feels sick when he has spasms and coughing fits.
"They tried to say they don't want me to go on the road if I continue to have this," he said. "But I don't know about that either. They said the heat in Texas may get to me [next week]. But I say, you're fine in the heat, but if I go into the cold, that's when I start coughing, so it's kind of weird."
• Denard Span (concussion) went 0-for-3 and played seven innings for Rochester. He is 1-for-12 four games into his rehab stint and will need to play nine innings several days in a row before being activated from the DL.
• Utility infielder Toby Gardenhire pitched a scoreless inning in Rochester's 18-3 loss.