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Antony updates status of several injured Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony met with reporters Sunday and provided a handful of injury updates on current Twins and prospects playing in the Minor Leagues:

• Outfielder Josh Willingham (left knee) was flying to Raleigh, N.C., on Sunday and was scheduled to start his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester there Monday. He is expected to serve as the designated hitter and get a couple of at-bats in his first game and eventually work his way up to playing nine innings in the outfield by the time the four-game series ends Thursday. If all goes well, he should rejoin the Twins for Friday's game in Chicago.

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• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni (left ankle) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and scored three runs Saturday in his second rehab game with Class A Advanced Fort Myers. He is likely to join Rochester on Tuesday as he works his way back to the Major Leagues.

• Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) was scheduled to bat second as the DH for Double-A New Britain on Sunday, his first game with the Rock Cats after three rehab games in Fort Myers.

• Third baseman Miguel Sano will miss his third straight game at New Britain on Sunday with a right hamstring injury. Antony said Sano was running out a ground ball and felt something pull as he lunged for first base. The initial timetable for his return was three to four days.

• Outfielder Byron Buxton returned to the lineup at Fort Myers on Sunday after missing six games with an injury to his big toe. Rated the Twins' No. 1 prospect by, Buxton fouled a ball off his foot, and the toenail on his big toe had to be removed.

• Pitcher Nick Blackburn experienced a setback in his recovery from a forearm injury. He is now battling tendinitis in his right knee, and Antony said he had not improved much even after receiving a cortisone shot. He has made one start for Rochester, throwing five innings on July 23, and is currently limited to playing catch from about 60 feet, Antony said.

• Pitcher Vance Worley (shoulder) is feeling better while working on an arm-strengthening program in Fort Myers, Antony said. He still has not begun a throwing program but the Twins think there is time for him to work up to throwing in a game before the Minor League season ends in early September.

• Pitcher Kohl Stewart, the Twins' first-round Draft pick this year, is expected to miss another 10 to 12 days after cutting his foot on a shell while walking on the beach in Fort Myers. The organization's No. 5 prospect is currently assigned to the Rookie-level GCL Twins.

Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to

Minnesota Twins