Baker unlikely to return on target date

Baker unlikely to return on time

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Scott Baker is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list next Monday, but it appears highly unlikely he'll be ready at that time.

Baker, who is recovering from a strained right groin muscle, hasn't suffered any setbacks, but he's yet to throw a bullpen session to test the groin.

The team will wait at least a couple more days before allowing Baker to throw his first bullpen session, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Monday. The hope is that by giving Baker a few extra days to let everything heal, it will help prevent any chance of the injury recurring.

"I've told [pitching coach Rick Anderson] I don't want to rush this," Gardenhire said.

Baker said that the groin is feeling much better, but that the team wants him to be absolutely pain-free before he does any throwing.

The right-hander last pitched on May 3 against Detroit, when he left a start early for the second straight time due to the groin strain. Because of the long time between starts, Baker said that he's prepared to head to Fort Myers, Fla., to pitch in some extended Spring Training games before he's activated.

"They don't want me to push it trying to hit that date," Baker said.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.