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08/23/09 2:06 PM ET

Liriano out longer, but Bonser may return

Twins optimistic that rehabbing righty could be back in fold

KANSAS CITY -- There might finally be some good news about the Twins' starting rotation.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday that injured pitcher Francisco Liriano could be out longer than 15 days, but -- and here's the good news -- starter Boof Bonser could possibly return to the Twins' staff in September.

Bonser, who had surgery in April to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff in his right shoulder, is rehabbing in Florida and progressing rather quickly, Gardenhire said.

"They're telling me he's doing really good," Gardenhire said. "He's champing at the bit."

Bonser was previously thought to be done for the season, and the Twins are still being cautious with his rehabilitation process, but at the very least -- there's good news coming from Florida.

This comes after a week filled with more bad news about Liriano. The Twins put Liriano on the 15-day disabled list last week with a tired arm.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Liriano just needed rest, but it now appears that Liriano's rest period could run longer than a 15-day DL stint.

Gardenhire said the club would know more once they returned to Minnesota on Monday.

"I don't know," Gardenhire said, when asked if Liriano could be out longer than 15 days. "I imagine, but we'll see. We'll give him a break here for a little bit, and then see if he can come back and bounce back."

Liriano will be checked out by doctors upon return to Minnesota, and the Twins will then have a clearer timetable on Liriano's return. Gardenhire also hasn't ruled out the possibility of sending Liriano to the bullpen when -- and if -- he is able to return.

Rustin Dodd is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.