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09/10/11 3:22 PM ET

Cuddyer aims to return from sore wrist Tuesday

DETROIT -- Michael Cuddyer was held out of the Twins' lineup for the fourth straight game on Saturday against the Tigers because of a sore left wrist, but he is hopeful he can return Tuesday against the Royals.

Cuddyer, who was originally struck on the wrist by a pitch on Aug. 24, tried to play through the injury, but said it's best to give it time to heal, as he has two bone bruises and inflamed tendons in his wrist.

"It's been painful since that day, but we didn't have anybody else to play," Cuddyer said. "So you fight through it. But now that we have some people here, you can afford it. But I wasn't helping the team anyways. I was like 5-for-100 it felt like."

Cuddyer, who actually hit .132 (5-for-38) in nine games after the injury, took some swings before Saturday's game and said his wrist is starting to feel stronger.

"It's getting better slowly but surely," Cuddyer said. "I took some swings off the tee, and I'll probably do that a couple times more today and tomorrow. Hopefully after a day off I can get back in there in Kansas City and play."

Jason Kubel, who served as designated hitter on Friday, also was held out of the lineup Saturday, as he's still dealing with soreness in his left foot stemming from a sprain suffered on May 30. His injured foot has been flaring up again recently, and he isn't quite ready to return to the outfield.

The Twins have been relying on recent callups Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee in the absence of Kubel and Cuddyer over the last four games. Benson started in right field on Saturday, and Parmelee started at first base.

Duensing likely to pitch out of 'pen for rest of '11

DETROIT -- Twins left-hander Brian Duensing, who is dealing with a strained right oblique, said he'd like to make at least a few starts before the end of the season, but if it's up to pitching coach Rick Anderson, he'll pitch out of the bullpen.

Duensing, who left his outing on Sept. 3 against the Angels after just 1 1/3 innings, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday in the hope of pitching out of the bullpen against the Royals on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Duensing said he'd like to build on his relief outings to eventually make at least one start -- and while Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it's not out of the question -- he said Anderson has other ideas.

"I think he's going into the bullpen," Gardenhire said. "Andy already talked to him about pitching in the 'pen. I'm leaving it wide-open, but Andy pretty much told me that he thinks bullpen. So we'll let those two argue it out."

Ailing Nishioka to be shut down for a few days

DETROIT -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be shut down for a few days, as the shortstop was still dealing with a sore right oblique in his return to action on Friday against the Tigers.

Nishioka, who made his first start at shortstop since Sunday, had trouble swinging, particularly from the right side. He faced left-hander Daniel Schlereth with two outs in the seventh and was forced to bunt because of soreness in his oblique.

He ended up beating out the bunt to go 1-for-3 with a walk on the night, but Gardenhire said he doesn't want to risk Nishioka aggravating the injury in the upcoming days.

"I don't think he looked right, especially swinging right-handed," Gardenhire said. "I don't like the way he looks so we're just going to back off."

Trevor Plouffe, who started against the Tigers on Saturday, is expected to remain at shortstop in Nishioka's absence.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.