Mauer starts to test injured left heel

Mauer starts to test injured left heel

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer got back to doing some baseball activities on Wednesday morning, although he was still not ready to return to the lineup.

Mauer, who has been sidelined since Friday with a deep soft tissue bruise on his left heel, said he was going to play some catch out on the field. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also said that Mauer could possibly take some swings in the batting cage to test his heel.

"It's been a pain," Mauer said. "Every day it's getting a little bit better, so that's good."

Mauer put on cleats during Tuesday night's game and walked around the dugout. He said that was a positive step, but he still doesn't know when he might get back on the field.

"I want to be out there every day, but you have to be smart about it, too," Mauer said. "Like I said, this is new to me. I wish I could tell you, 'This is how long I'm going to be out and everything's fine.'"

Nike is sending Mauer some shoes that will hopefully provide extra cushioning where the bruise is, and Mauer said he expected them to arrive possibly on Wednesday. While the shoes should help the pain, both Mauer and the Twins want the injury to be mostly healed by the time he gets back on the field.

"You can't let it linger on," Gardenhire said. "You can't let him get back out there and all of a sudden reinjure it and he's still sore and then you're a month into this thing and he's still fighting a sore heel.

"You just have to take your time here. We've got the third catcher and we're going to take our time with this. I'm going to have to rely on Joe. I can't tell him how he's feeling. I've also relayed to him that I want this thing to be healed before we do go through something and get him back out there."