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08/04/08 11:40 PM ET

Casilla stays home to rest injury

Twins hope second baseman will return this season

SEATTLE -- Second baseman Alexi Casilla did not make the road trip with the Twins this week. But there is continuing hope by the club that he could be back by the end of the season.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Casilla, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a torn ligament in his right thumb, stayed in Minnesota to complete some rehabilitation on the injury. Casilla is donning a splint on the thumb, and he'll wear it for a week before getting a second checkup by the doctor to see how the injury has healed.

"He's resting it right now more than anything else," Gardenhire said. "We'll know more once he gets out of the splint."

The positive news for the Twins, Gardenhire said, is that Casilla says he can swing right-handed without any pain. It's from the left side where he's had problems. If the doctors determine Casilla can't do any more damage by playing with the injury, Gardenhire said they might soon try to tape the thumb and see if he can swing and possibly play through it.

But Gardenhire stressed that's only if no additional damage can be done.

"If there is a risk of him hurting it even more, we would not take that risk," the manager said.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.