MINNEAPOLIS -- Once again, the Twins seem to have avoided the worst.
Byron Buxton was diagnosed with a "very low-level hip strain," acting manager Jayce Tingler said, and will likely avoid a stint on the injured list as he undergoes treatment. There's optimism that Buxton will return to the Twins' lineup during the club's upcoming series against Houston -- potentially as soon as Tuesday's series opener.
"Huge, absolutely," Tingler said. "Everybody is pretty optimistic. Late last night and early this morning, seeing the smile on Buck’s face this morning gives you a very good feeling."
Buxton was removed following the seventh inning of the Twins' 1-0 victory over the A's on Saturday. He appeared to feel the hip tighten due to an awkward step into first base when he reached base on a strikeout-wild pitch in the first inning.
The center fielder himself didn't seem too worried after spending Sunday undergoing treatment -- "Just about everything you can name," he said -- and expressing no concern about his condition.
"None," Buxton said. "Something I've just got to stay on top of. Something I've been dealing with. So yesterday, it just kind of grabbed a little bit. More precautionary. Make sure I don't do anything crazy."
It's the latest round of positive injury news the Twins have received regarding their superstars, following Friday's revelation that Carlos Correa does not have a fracture in his right middle finger and will likely avoid the IL, as well. It's highly unlikely that he'll be ready for Tuesday's series opener against the Astros, his old team, as much as he wants to be on the field that day.
Correa, who professed to still being sore, will take some dry swings and attempt tee work during Monday's off-day, which he said will be a "big day" in gauging the progress of his recovery.
"Yes, I do want to play," Correa said. "But I’ve got to be smart about it. I dodged a bullet. Instead of eight to 10 weeks, maybe it’ll be six, seven days, who knows? I’ll take that over 10 weeks all day long."
It has also helped the Twins that they've had top prospects ready to fill the gaps while Buxton and Correa have been down, as Gilberto Celestino has been very capable in all aspects of the game as a center fielder in '22 and Royce Lewis, the organization's No. 1 prospect, has already doubled and singled twice in his first three big league games while replacing Correa at shortstop.