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Twins get Ryan Jeffers back after more than two months on injured list

Jeffers played in nine rehab games with the Triple-A Saints, where he hit 3 home runs.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners Ryan Jeffers
Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers slides safely home on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, to score during the ninth inning as Seattle Mariners catcher Luis Torrens waits for the throw at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
USA Today Sports file photo
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins were hoping to have a number of players returning healthy in September as they pushed for a playoff spot. In the end, most of those players never returned, and the playoff hopes have long since disappeared.

But they did get one contributor back on Tuesday, activating catcher Ryan Jeffers from the injured list, months after he suffered a thumb fracture and underwent surgery. Jeffers was placed on the IL in mid-July and had surgery to repair his thumb over the all-star break.

“He was adamant from the time he got hurt that he was going to be back, and there was no way around that,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I don’t think the date he got back mattered. I think in his mind he was firm that he was going to come back and help us.”

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Ryan Jeffers

Jeffers played in nine rehab games with the Triple-A Saints. His thumb, he said, has been fully healthy, and the last piece of the rehab process was getting his arm back in game shape after two months off.

He hit three home runs in those nine games, and he said he was happy with where his swing was at. Jeffers had been tweaking his swing before he got hurt, and he said he felt confident that those changes would carry over.

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“It was good to get back into the games, get into that flow,” he said. “It was kind of a quick-ramp up period. So it was good to get some games under my belt, catch a couple nine-inning games. It feels good, and I’m excited to be back.”

Jeffers’ return coincides with the end of fellow catcher Sandy Leon’s season. Leon was placed on the injured list as the corresponding move, and the Twins announced he will have surgery to repair his right meniscus.

Leon has been dealing with knee pain for some time now and has not played since Sept. 21.

“This was something that continued to hurt him and would swell up,” Baldelli said. “We knew that we got to a point last week where he wasn’t going to be able to continue to play.”

Buxton undergoes surgery

Byron Buxton underwent surgery on Tuesday to clean up his right knee, which has been affecting him all season. The surgery was performed by Dr. Christopher Camp, who Baldelli said, “gave us a very positive update.”

“Just what you would want to hear,” Baldelli said. “He’s home and recovering. I think we’ll see him soon.”

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Byron Buxton

Buxton said before the surgery that he expected the recovery period to be between six to eight weeks.

Briefly

The Twins have shut down their complex in Fort Myers, Fla., in anticipation of Hurricane Ian, which is expected to make landfall near the area overnight. The academy at the complex will be used to house first responders.

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