Nelson Cruz is on the verge of returning to action.

The veteran designated hitter has left the team for Lakeland, Fla., where he will join Class A Fort Myers, Fla. for the final two games of its series against the Flying Tigers.

That is called a minor league rehabilitation assignment. Which means Cruz should be activated from the injured list in time for the start of the series in Cleveland on Tuesday.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said this morning that Cruz was close to going out on a rehab assignment. An intrepid reporter then asked if he could play a couple of games at Fort Myers, where they are scheduled to play early next week.

"He could go out and play some Florida State League games at any point," Baldelli said. "We're going to talk this morning and probably have a plan pretty soon."

An hour later, boom, Cruz is on his way to Lakeland to play today and tomorrow.

Cruz, batting .270 with seven homers and 22 RBI in 35 games, hasn't played since May 12 because of a strained left wrist. He could have returned sooner and managed the pain, but the Twins decided to wait until he was pain free before activating him from the injured list. Luis Arraez has hit .375 since being called up to replace Cruz on the roster, so the offense has chugged along without.

But with Cruz and catcher Mitch Garver set to return, the Twins about to throw their best punch at the Indians when they visit Progressive Field on Tuesday. Garver, out with a left ankles sprain, is expected to be activated from the IL in the next couple of days.

Twins

Max Kepler, RF
Jorge Polanco, DH
Marwin Gonzalez, 1B
Eddie Rosario, LF
Miguel Sano, 3B
Ehire Adrianza, SS
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Jason Castro, C
Byron Buxton, CF

Kyle Gibson, RHP

Rays

Austin Meadows, LF
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Kevin Keirmaier, CF
Ji-Man Choi, DH
Nate Lowe, 1B
Christian Arroyo, 3B
Willy Adames, SS
Travis d'Arnaud, C
Guillermo Heredia, RF

Yonny Chirinos, RF

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Polanco returns, Berrios takes the mound for Twins in Tampa

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Garver activated from injured list, bats leadoff in return to play