Byron Buxton could make a return before the season ends.
The Minnesota Twins star player last appeared in a game on August 1. He went 1-for-4 with a double that game. He was placed on the 10-day injured list a few days after that game due to a right hamstring strain.
The veteran was riding a five-game hitting streak before heading to the IL.
Buxton has been sidelined for over a month, but Twins head athletic trainer Nick Paparesta, has a strong feeling the all-star can make a return. He received a cortisone injection to address inflammation and irritation to the medial plica in his right knee. After receiving that injection, his rehab assignment with Triple-A St. Paul was paused.
“We will make it happen,” Paparesta said in an article from mlb.com regarding Buxton’s return.“We’re going to make it happen in the context of us being able to get him at-bats and get him prepared to play, yes.”
“My impression is for him to be able to play wherever he needs to be able to play for this team.”
Buxton has been dealing with knee injuries the past few seasons and it’s unsure where the inflammation in his right knee came from.
“We do know what happened; we do know what it is,” Paparesta said. “We’ve addressed it with a cortisone injection. Conservative treatment, as you know, for that week or so wasn’t really getting the job done, so we needed to kind of take it to that next level.”
The Twins are in a good position, sitting atop of the American League Central Division. If Buxton can make a return, he can provide value on the offensive end as a designated hitter.
Last season, Buxton was named an all-star for the first time in his career, and he finished the season with a .224 batting average with a career-high 28 home runs. He displayed a lot of power at the plate last season and when he’s healthy, he can be a problem for opposing pitchers.
Through 85 games this season, he’s hitting .207 with 17 home runs and 42 RBI. Injuries have been a common theme for Buxton throughout his career, but he still has made an impact during his time on the field. The latest worry for Minnesota, a franchise that invested over $100M in Big Bux, is the knee and how it will impact him in the future.
“I’d love to tell you I have a crystal ball and can give you that answer, but my impression will be that he’s going to play again this year and he’ll be healthy and play next year, yes,” Paparesta said.
If the Twins do make the postseason, it would be a plus to have Buxton as an option, even if he’s coming off the bench. Buxton has appeared in the postseason twice during his tenure in Minnesota. The last appearance he made was back in 2020.