Rehab stint could precede Santana's return

Rehab stint could precede Santana's return

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rookie shortstop Danny Santana hasn't been ruled out of making his return next weekend in Colorado, but he is likely to go on a rehab assignment over the All-Star break if he's not ready to be activated from the 15-day disabled list.

Santana was placed on the DL on June 27 with a bone bruise in his left knee and is eligible to return on July 12. He's still using the underwater treadmill at Target Field to keep the pressure off his knee and has been swinging off a tee.

"He's doing some light work," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's eligible to come off on our road trip, and that's the target date. But they still haven't allowed him to get on the field and run around."

Twins general manager Terry Ryan added that Santana won't need long to get ready once his knee heals and he's allowed to fully resume baseball activities. But if he can't return next weekend, he'll likely go on a rehab assignment to stay sharp over the All-Star break.

"If he's ready to go, we'll activate him in Colorado, but I don't know if he will be," Ryan said. "But it's not going to take him long once they give him the green light. He's getting better daily."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for 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.