MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins activated third baseman Trevor Plouffe from the 15-day disabled list on Monday, and optioned second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka to Triple-A Rochester to make room for him on the roster.

Plouffe was back in the lineup against the Tigers, starting at third base and batting seventh Monday night. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in Minnesota's 9-3 victory. He was on the DL, retroactive to July 21, with a bruised thumb after being jammed by a pitch against the Royals on July 20.

"It's good to be back," Plouffe said. "I missed a lot of time. It kind of snuck up on me. I didn't realize I missed three weeks, but watching those games when the team was on the road made me really miss being in there."

Plouffe went on a rehab assignment with Rochester over the weekend, going 0-for-8 with a walk in two games. But more importantly, he said his thumb held up just fine and shouldn't be an issue moving forward.

"Everything was good -- no problems," Plouffe said. "The biggest thing was testing the thumb out and getting the timing back. I didn't get any hits, but hit the ball hard yesterday and felt like I was having good at-bats and seeing the ball well."

Plouffe has been a pleasant surprise, as he's hitting .259/.330/.525 with 19 homers in 74 games entering Monday's game against the Tigers.

Nishioka, meanwhile, struggled in three games with the Twins after being recalled from Rochester on Aug. 5, when Minnesota traded third baseman Danny Valencia to Boston.

Nishioka went 0-for-12 while committing three errors over a three-game series in Cleveland.

"I think he just came up here, and whether it's trying too hard or getting too excited is anybody's guess, but I think we all saw the performance on the field wasn't very good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He didn't make the plays he was supposed to, missed the spots he was supposed to be on relays, and those are all the things that he needs to continue to work on and see what happens. But his three days out on the field weren't very good, and I think Nishi knows that more than anyone."

Day after injuring shoulder, Span out of lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- After injuring his right shoulder attempting to make a diving catch in Sunday's game against the Rays, center field Denard Span was held out of the lineup against the Tigers on Monday.

Span injured his collarbone while landing awkwardly trying to catch a sinking liner, but said that he was happy that the X-ray results taken on his shoulder came back negative because he initially feared the worst.

"I heard a little pop," Span said. "That's what scared me initially when I heard it pop when I landed. But thank God, I went and got the X-rays and everything was negative. I'm just day to day. I woke up this morning feeling somewhat better than yesterday. The range of motion was better. So I guess today and next couple days, get treatment on it and monitor how I'm feeling each day."

Span added that he's set to get a massage and visit a chiropractor on Tuesday, and that it should give him a better feel for how long he'll be out. But he's optimistic he'll be able to avoid the disabled list.

"The next couple days we'll be doing some more treatment on it," said Span, who was replaced in center by Ben Revere on Monday. "They've got me on anti-inflammatories and I'll be seeing a masseuse and all that, so I think by tomorrow, I'll know more, and the trainers will know more, about where I'm at."

MRI shows no new damage to Capps' rotator cuff

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins closer Matt Capps underwent an MRI exam on his right shoulder on Monday, and it showed no new damage to his rotator cuff.

Capps has been on the disabled list since July 27 with right rotator cuff irritation and has yet to throw a baseball since then.

Capps indicated on Sunday that he'd like to begin playing catch on Wednesday if his MRI exam revealed no new issues.

But there's no timetable for Capps to begin throwing, as he'll continue to keep working on strengthening his shoulder, according to Twins doctors.