MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins placed center fielder Byron Buxton on the 10-day injured list Friday because of inflammation in his troublesome right knee, with guarded optimism his absence can be kept to the minimum.

Buxton exited early from the game at Chicago on Wednesday after experiencing soreness in the knee that he’s had two surgeries on and limited him to a designated hitter role last season. The discomfort caused him to pull up short while trying to steal second base for a third consecutive time, after the first two attempts were thwarted by foul balls.

The move was made retroactive to Thursday. Both president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and manager Rocco Baldelli said Friday they believe Buxton is on a realistic track to be ready to return when he’s eligible May 12, or at least a few days after that. An MRI test on his knee revealed no structural damage, Falvey said.

Meanwhile, third baseman Royce Lewis has been “tracking in a pretty good direction,” Falvey said. Lewis tore his right quadriceps while running the bases during his second at-bat in the season opener, and he has resumed swinging, jogging and some light work on the field.

Buxton is batting .250 with eight doubles, one triple, one home run, 12 runs and 11 RBIs in 28 games this season. The Twins recalled multi-position player Austin Martin from Triple-A St. Paul to take his roster spot. Willi Castro was in center field Friday in the series opener against Boston.


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