Twins manager Ron Gardenhire watched Willingham take batting practice, and came away encouraged by what he saw, but cautioned Willingham could need a lengthy rehab assignment because he hasn't played in more than a month.
"He was whacking it pretty good. I talked to him and his hand feels good," Gardenhire said. "I asked him if he's going to wear some sort of guard, but he didn't think so other than maybe when running the bases. So he's moving on the up and up here. So a few more days of BP on the field and then we'll get him on a rehab. He needs some at-bats, so it'll take some time, but we're happy to have him on the field for BP."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.