Joe Mauer could return this week

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer could return to the Minnesota Twins in the coming week.

The four-time All-Star and three-time American League batting champion was catching for Class A Fort Myers on Sunday and was set to do the same Monday and possibly Tuesday, too.

Mauer played catcher three straight games this week before a break Saturday.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said the Twins want Mauer to take live batting practice Wednesday against reliever Joe Nathan, who was sent to Florida on a rehabilitation assignment for his strained right elbow.

Mauer could rejoin the team Thursday or Friday at Target Field, but Gardenhire was noncommittal.

The Twins also plan to send designated hitter Jim Thome to Fort Myers on Monday to start a rehab stint for his strained left quadriceps muscle.