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Miguel Sano hits off tee, still has 'a ways to go' before return from DL

Miguel Sano still has "a ways to go" before he'll be ready to return to the Minnesota Twins, according to manager Paul Molitor.

Sano, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 19 with a stress reaction in his shin, resumed baseball activities Monday by hitting off a tee. Molitor told reporters that Sano "handled it really well" and said that the slugger may be able to take batting practice at some point later this week.

"If we can progress the baseball skills along, it's just a matter of when we can get him out there to try to jog a little and hopefully get built up where he can get around the bases," Molitor said before Monday's loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, according to MLB.com. "Then maybe we can start thinking about how he might contribute.

"It's getting closer to a day-to-day situation, but we're not there yet. We've still got a ways to go."

Molitor did not give a timetable for when Sano will return to the Twins (71-66), who entered Tuesday just a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels (71-67) for the American League's second wild card. Minnesota has gone 9-6 in the 15 games that Sano has missed.

Sano, 24, is tied for the team lead with 28 home runs and is batting .267 with 77 RBIs this season. The third baseman fouled a ball off his shin on Aug. 18 and was placed on the 10-day DL two days later.