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Hicks to have shoulder exam; Fuld near return

Hicks to have shoulder exam; Fuld near return

TORONTO -- Center fielder Aaron Hicks was held out of the lineup for a fourth straight game Wednesday with a sore right shoulder, and he's heading back to Minnesota to have it examined on the Twins' off-day on Thursday.

Hicks injured his shoulder while making a game-ending diving catch in center field on Saturday, and he is still having trouble throwing the ball. Rookie Danny Santana made his fourth straight start in center field in Hicks' absence during the Twins' 7-2 win over the Blue Jays.

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Hicks said he's optimistic it's just a minor injury and that he'll be able to avoid the 15-day disabled list, but he admitted that he's still having trouble throwing the ball.

"It's just uncomfortable every time I try to throw," Hicks said. "It's a little painful to throw. So we'll how it goes."

If Hicks needs to go on the DL, it's becoming more likely that fellow center fielder Sam Fuld could be activated from the DL. Fuld has been out since May 7 with a concussion but has been faring well in his rehab assignment with Double-A New Britain.

Fuld homered in his first at-bat on Tuesday and has gone 3-for-9 with a homer and a double in three games so far. Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said Fuld could be ready as soon as Friday's series opener against the Tigers in Detroit.

"I wouldn't rule it out," Antony said. "I think he's getting to the point where he's having consistent days with no problems and no side effects or recurring headaches. He's swinging the bat fine. He had a leadoff home run yesterday."

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.

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