ARLINGTON, Texas — On Thursday, the Twins received the results they were looking for after sending Byron Buxton for another MRI. On Friday, the Twins saw more positive signs when Buxton tested out his hip in sprints pregame at Globe Life Field.

And all that means that the Twins center fielder could be close to a return.

The Twins were planning on getting another opinion from Texas-based Dr. Keith Meister, an orthopedic surgeon, before conferring with Dr. Christopher Camp and the team’s medical staff and deciding Buxton’s next step.

“He’s doing very well, so we’ll take exactly what we saw today and feel really good about it,” manager Rocco Baldelli said.

What they saw Friday was Buxton, who has been out since suffering a Grade 2 strain of his right hip on May 6 against the Rangers, looking both more comfortable and more explosive than when he tested things out a couple days earlier in Seattle.

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Buxton traveled with the team to Seattle after completing a rehab assignment, where he went 5 for 9 in three games with the St. Paul Saints. But while the results at the plate were good, Buxton felt something while running that delayed his return. While Baldelli wasn’t ready to commit to a specific day for Buxton’s return, he did suggest that it might be another day or two or three.

“It’s going to be somewhere in that range,” he said. “There’s not really any way to know until we talk to the doctors first. I think that’s going to be an important step.”

Though the Twins weren’t ready to activate Buxton on Friday, they did activate another outfielder: Max Kepler.

Kepler, who strained his left hamstring in late May, started in right on Friday. To make room on the roster, the Twins optioned rookie Gilberto Celestino to Triple-A. Celestino has remained with the team as part of the taxi squad.

Cruz likes new park

Upon first sight, Nelson Cruz gave Globe Life Field — not to be confused with Globe Life Park, which sits just across the street — a thumbs up.

Cruz, a Ranger for seven seasons, said he was sad to see his old home go — the park has been retrofitted to host other sporting events — after years worth of memories there, including two World Series appearances (2010-11), calling it “like a friend you never wanted to see leave.”

But as he prepared for his first game inside the new park, which has a retractable roof to help players through the hot, sticky Texas summers, he was appreciative of the Rangers’ new digs.

“Especially days like today would probably be smoking hot,” he said. “It takes a lot out of your body. Defintitely, players appreciate it, especially the ones who play every day here.”

Donaldson, Simmons out

Both Josh Donaldson and Andrelton Simmons, who exited Wednesday’s game early, were out of the lineup on Friday, though the Twins still don’t believe either situation to be serious.

Baldelli said Donaldson, on top of minor calf tightness, has been dealing with an upper respiratory issue that has left him unable to get much sleep over the past two nights. The Twins will continue to monitor him and make sure he’s feeling better before getting him back on the field.

Simmons, who left with left ankle tightness, was doing better on Friday, Baldelli said, and was available, but the Twins wanted to keep him off his feet for a full nine innings to avoid another flare-up.


Reliever Shaun Anderson, whom the Twins acquired this offseason in a trade for LaMonte Wade Jr., was claimed off waivers by the Rangers. The Twins’ 40-man roster now sits at 39. … Randy Dobnak will start for the Twins on Saturday in Michael Pineda’s spot in the rotation.