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04/19/08 1:50 AM ET

Twins target Texas return for Cuddyer

Outfielder to go to Minor Leagues to get swings in rehab stint

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer will not come off the 15-day disabled list when he's eligible on Sunday, but it appears he could return to the lineup as soon as next Friday, when the team starts a three-game series in Texas.

After Friday night's loss to the Indians, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said that Cuddyer will likely head to Class A Fort Myers on Sunday for a rehab assignment to test his dislocated right index finger.

"We've talked about sending him down and letting him get some action with some swings," Gardenhire said. "He had a good workout today, and eventually we'll get him out there throwing.

"Someone said a target date might possibly be Texas if everything [was] to go perfect. Michael was very excited."

Cuddyer played catch on the field and threw from about 70 feet before Friday's game. He also hit a little in the cage for the second straight day, but couldn't completely grip the ball or the bat with his finger.

Earlier in the day, Cuddyer acknowledged the injury has taken longer to heal than he expected, and that he's starting to get antsy to get back on the field. But he said he's not about to rush his comeback, either.

"Yeah, it's frustrating, but I would be more frustrated if I came off and it wasn't healthy," Cuddyer said.

"I did that last year out of necessity. With five months still to play, it's not necessary to come off if I'm not 100 percent. ... If I don't come Sunday, it won't be too far after that. How many days is too far? I don't know. It shouldn't be too long."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.