DETROIT -- Two weeks after being carted off the field in Houston because of a leg injury, Miguel Sano returns to the Twins lineup. He'll hit seventh tonight against the Tigers.
Sano suffered a lower left leg contusion on a hard slide into second on Sept. 4 against the Astros.
Here is tonight's lineup (6:10 p.m., FSN).
One thing to watch for tonight is if Sano has to slide. He has not practicing sliding since the injury and isn't expected to try another style if he has to do so tonight. That looms as a big test as Sano returns from his injury.
"We talked a lot about it yesterday," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "And I know that's something he's concerned about. He knows how to slide one way which is on that leg. A little different than the old days when we had about 12 slides. I toyed with the idea of making him slide yesterday, but I think when you tell someone to practice sliding it's almost like they are going to overthink it. You don't run hard and you're worried more about the slide than doing it instinctively. There's something about being out there and just playing the game where I think his instincts will take over if he has to make a slide into a base, a double play or at home or whatever the situation might be."
Sano has not been told to take it easy. Instead he's being encouraged to play his normal game and trust his instincts. Molitor doesn't think that should factor into any decision third base coach Gene Glynn makes in regards to waiving him home,
"Nope, I said just play," Molitor said. "You're going to make the right choice at the right time. Hopefully no head first, don't want to see that. There's a little bit of a question around that but I don't think that going out there and sliding on the grass or anything is going to be something that is going to enable him to be more mentally free to go out and do what he needs to in a game."
Eddie Rosario is walking around the clubhouse with a noticeable limp after re-aggravating his strained right quadriceps last night. Rosario will likely be shut down for the remainder of the road trip, which ends Sunday in Oakland.
Rosario said he would like to play before the season ends, but he wasn't sure when that will be. And he's definitely not sure if he will play in the outfield again. Playing defense looks like a no-no, since he needed more than two weeks to recover from the initial injury. And Rosario said this injury feels as bad as the first one.
"He’s sore," Molitor said. "Back him off of baseball here. I don’t know about the chance of him playing again. I don’t think it’s anything that we want to push too far. If he gets well and he has a chance, we would consider it, but I’m certainly not going to push for it."
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