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

09/15/12 1:05 PM ET

Mauer feeling better, but no return date set

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who is out with back spasms, worked out on the field and took batting practice in the cages before Saturday's game against the White Sox.

Mauer, though, was out of the lineup for a fifth straight game and said he's not quite ready to return, as he still feels the tightness in his back, especially when running.

"It was good I was out there, but it wasn't very close to what I need to do on a field," said Mauer, who visited a chiropractor to get his back adjusted. "But it's been getting better every day so hopefully that continues to stay the same."

Mauer said there's still no target date for his return but he'll join the team on its road trip to Cleveland and Detroit next week.

"If it keeps progressing like it has I'm still just day to day," Mauer said. "I'm not that far off. At least that's what the trainers told me."

Capps throws bullpen session, wants to return

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins right-hander Matt Capps threw off a mound on Saturday for the first time since going on the disabled list with right rotator cuff irritation on July 17.

Capps threw an eight-minute bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another on Monday. He's then scheduled to throw in simulated games on Wednesday in Cleveland and Friday in Detroit, as he's joining the Twins on their road trip.

"It was good," Capps said. "We'll see how I feel tomorrow when I get out and moving."

Capps, who has a 3.81 ERA with 14 saves in 15 chances, remains hopeful he'll rejoin the bullpen before the end of the season. He said it will give him peace of mind heading into the offseason and will also show other clubs he's healthy, as he's likely to be a free agent. The Twins hold a $6 million option they're all but certain not to exercise because of his health problems this year.

"I think it's what I have to do," Capps said. "There are 29 other teams out there and only one knows I'm going to be healthy and it's this team. They know what's going on. So I think for everybody I have to show that I'm healthy going into the offseason. There's a difference between a healthy offseason and a rehab offseason."

Gardenhire remains cautious with Doumit

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Ryan Doumit met with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire before Saturday's game against the White Sox to tell him he's healthy and ready to play.

But Gardenhire said he's being cautious with Doumit, who has been out since Wednesday with a strained oblique.

Gardenhire decided to start Drew Butera behind the plate instead, as Doumit still feels some soreness when catching and swinging from the left side of the plate.

"He actually wanted to play today, but I didn't think it was right," Gardenhire said. "Right-handed, he swings fine but left-handed, he still feels it when he lets it go. He said he thinks he can control it, but I just know from as long as I've been doing this that once you get into the game, the adrenaline starts going and he's gonna let it fly. And I don't wanna see that."

Chris Parmelee, however, returned to the lineup on Saturday after being held out for five games with right groin soreness. Parmelee, who served as a pinch-hitter on Thursday, started at designated hitter and batted sixth against White Sox left-hander Francisco Liriano.

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.