© 2012 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

02/10/12 3:56 PM EST

Hughes out 3-4 weeks with shoulder sprain

Infielder suffered injury in home-plate collision in Australia

MINNEAPOLIS -- An MRI showed that infielder Luke Hughes has a sprained right shoulder and will be shut down for 3-4 weeks.

Hughes suffered the injury while playing for the Perth Heat during the Australian Winter League semifinals last weekend.

It's an important Spring Training for the infielder, considering he's out of options, which means that he can't be assigned to the Minors without first clearing waivers.

"He has about three to four weeks for rehab because he has a small sprain in his right shoulder," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "So it's a pretty good diagnosis for what it could've been. I think he'll be ready to go by early March."

Hughes had an MRI exam in Australia, but Ryan said the club wanted to be cautious and take an MRI of its own before he heads down to Fort Myers, Fla., for Spring Training.

"There's no sense in sending him back," Ryan said. "He was going to report here anyways."

Hughes, 26, hit .344 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in 19 games with the Heat before the injury.

He played in 96 games with the Twins last season, hitting .223 with a .289 on-base percentage and a .338 slugging percentage. Hughes had seven homers and 30 RBIs while seeing time at first base, second base and third base.

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.