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When will Byron Buxton return to Twins lineup this season?

We’ve got the latest updates for Byron Buxton and when he’ll return in 2023.

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins reacts after getting hit by a pitch during the fourth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Target Field on June 1, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Guardians 7-6. Photo by Matt Krohn/Getty Images

Minnesota Twins star Byron Buxton has been among the most snake-bitten players in all of baseball over the last few years, with stretches of breathtaking play punctuated by an inevitable trip to the injured list. The Twins had committed to playing the dynamic athlete almost exclusively at DH this year in an effort to finally keep him healthy — he’s played more than 100 games in a season just once in his career — but even that wasn’t enough to finally break his run of bad luck.

Buxton was placed on the 10-day IL on Tuesday, nearly a week after he was hit by a pitch in a game against the Cleveland Guardians. Here’s the latest on Minnesota’s star and when he might return to the lineup.

Byron Buxton injury update

Buxton took a fastball from Guardians starter Tanner Bibee to the ribs on June 1. X-rays came back negative, but he was still understandably in quite a bit of pain.

It’s understandable that Buxton wasn’t able to get back on the field in time to avoid an IL stint (the team recalled outfielder Trevor Larnach to make use of the roster spot). The fact that X-rays came back negative, however, is a great sign, and the team is calling it just (well, easy for me to say) a rib contusion for now. It’s possible that Buxton could return after missing the minimum amount of time, but a lot depends on how the pain subsides over the next few days.

Buxton was off to a typically strong start, with a 113 OPS+, 10 homers and six steals over his first 50 games. The Twins figure to cycle through several options in the DH role while he’s out, largely depending on matchups. Larnach and Joey Gallo would make sense against right-handed pitching, with Donovan Solano and Kyle Garlick both options against lefties.