FORT MYERS, Fla. -- His daughter's health improving, Twins right-hander Jason Marquis returned to Twins camp Tuesday and threw to hitters in a Minor League game.
Marquis' 7-year-old daughter was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in New York and he left the team to be with her and his family. Marquis last pitched in a Grapefruit League game March 19.
"She's making a lot of progress. Everything's going in the right direction," Marquis said. "The healing process of her wounds has to heal up. The initial four or five days were a nightmare, something that no parent should ever live through. But with the support we've had from friends, families and the team of doctors they put on her ... it meant a lot. I've seen a lot of positive energy flow to her and really help her."
Marquis threw 54 pitches Tuesday in an outing general manager Terry Ryan called "encouraging." Marquis still did workouts in New York, throwing a 78-pitch and a 93-pitch simulated game. Marquis said he would definitely need another start, but did not speculate beyond that. He allowed 12 runs in 12 2/3 innings this spring.
"We'll see. I don't [know] that I want to [give you a number], because you have to put him out there," Ryan said. "He came back in good shape. It was encouraging. He threw 54 pitches, the majority were strikes. He used all his stuff. Now, we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
How to get Marquis' Minor League work is not straightforward. Ryan said Marquis is not eligible for the bereavement list because he is with the team, and he will not go on the restricted list, either. Marquis is not hurt and therefore cannot be put on the disabled list and sent on a rehab assignment.
The recourse may be asking Marquis to accept an optional assignment to the Minor Leagues. Once a player reaches five years of big league service time, they have a right to refuse an optional assignment, but there's precedent for pitchers doing so in the past. The Mets' Steve Trachsel went to the Minors to fix his mechanics in 2001.
Ryan did not say what the team is planning.
"I'll let you know," Ryan said. "He has the right to deny or accept whatever we do. It's not like I can just dictate it."
"I'll sit down with Terry and we'll come up with a game plan," Marquis said. "I don't know the legality stuff with how the Basic Agreement works with bereavement and optioning and all that good stuff. We got to sit down, talk to my agent, talk to Terry, and we'll come up with a game plan. And once we finalize everything, obviously, you guys will know."
Marquis was still wearing a hospital wristband Tuesday, keeping his daughter in his thoughts.
"She's still in the hospital," Marquis said. "She has to go through getting her eating habits right again. And she'll have to be in the house, -- do a little home schooling, which is fine."
Marquis did not want to detail how his daughter was hurt, although he said she had a heavy amount of internal bleeding. Baseball helped Marquis through the ordeal. The Twins play the Yankees in New York April 16-19 and Marquis will be able to see his daughter again then.
"Now it's the true physical healing process of the wound, and the mental healing process," Marquis said. "She was sedated for nine days. I couldn't leave until I saw her eyes, heard her voice. Baseball is able to give me a mental break. I wouldn't be around here for 13 years if baseball wasn't an escape."
Casilla on schedule for Opening Day
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' Alexi Casilla played second base in a Minor League game Tuesday morning, a day after he received an anti-inflammatory injection in his right knee on Monday.
Casilla is expected to be ready for Opening Day on Friday and manager Ron Gardenhire said he will play in Wednesday's exhibition game against Class-A Advanced Fort Myers at Hammond Stadium -- a week after Cassilla's last Grapefruit League game.
Third baseman Sean Burroughs, meanwhile, continues to deal with stiffness after he tweaked his back getting off the bus Monday.
"It depends on how he does tomorrow, and we'll go from there," Gardenhire said. "He told me he thought he'd be ready to play tomorrow, and if he's still feeling ouchy tomorrow, we'll make the decisions here and maybe not activate him until Friday. Leave him here on Thursday and let him get some work in and see if he makes it through it before we activate him."