Crede takes BP, could return Monday

Crede could return Monday

NEW YORK -- Twins third baseman Joe Crede took batting practice with the team on Sunday, and there is a "good possibility" he could return to the lineup Monday night for the series finale vs. the Yankees, manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Crede's back was feeling much better again Sunday, two days after he left a contest vs. the Yankees due to lower back spasms and tightness in his hamstrings.

Gardenhire said the club would see how Crede's back fared while taking swings and fielding balls during batting practice. Even if everything went OK, Crede was still considered an emergency-only option again for Sunday's contest.

"I know he wants to get back in there," Gardenhire said. "And that could be [Monday]."

Crede felt that the problems likely stemmed from playing 13 innings Wednesday night, followed by a day game Thursday and then a long flight to New York. He said Saturday that he didn't have any sharp pains in his back, which is what Crede experienced during previous back troubles, and that this would likely be only a "minor setback."

Brian Buscher got his second successive start at third base Sunday. Buscher delivered two key RBIs in Saturday's extra-inning loss to New York, and Crede's absence has provided Gardenhire with the opportunity to give Buscher some playing time, as Sunday marked just the 17th game he's played in this season.

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