Rosario's back, but Sano and Austin sit out

September 7th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left fielder returned to the lineup on Friday after missing six games with a right quad strain, but third baseman will undergo further testing on his left knee and first baseman is dealing with back stiffness after slipping and falling near the dugout while tracking down a pop fly on Wednesday.

Sano injured himself while sliding into second base against the Astros on Tuesday, with initial fears being related to his surgically inserted titanium rod in his left shin. There was some hope he could return on Friday, but the discomfort is now more in the knee area.

"I was a little quick to speak about how he was the day after the injury," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He's still a little sore. I was of the mindset it would be sooner than later, and I don't think it's still too far out there. We're just running a few more tests to make sure he's going to be OK and there's nothing that's going to linger that we might have missed from the initial diagnosis."

Molitor, though, believes it's a minor injury and they're just trying to be cautious.

"I think his knee's just a little sore," Molitor said. "You know how when you bend a joint quickly and past its normal range of motion, you get some stiffness and swelling in there? I'm hoping that's all it is."

Austin, meanwhile, had dealt with back issues this season, but it was worsened by his slip and fall on Wednesday. But like Sano, the Twins don't think it's a serious injury.

"His back is still feeling the symptoms there so we're trying to go slowly and be patient as far as when we're going to get him back out to play," Molitor said. "He's had some issues before. Nothing major that I know of. I just know he's been dealing with working on keeping that back as flexible as he can and as available on a day-to-day basis as he can."

Worth noting

• Molitor said he finally had the chance to talk with center fielder after the Twins announced Saturday night that Buxton would not be a September callup.

"He's doing well," Molitor said. "All things considered."

• The Twins are still determining what kind of surgery right-hander will undergo after being diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee. There's a chance he could avoid an operation, but it's more likely he either undergoes a repair or a removal of his meniscus.