Feb 10, 2012, 3:17 PM EDT
Luke Hughes injured his shoulder while playing winter ball back home in Australia and left the Perth Heat during the playoffs at the Twins’ request to undergo an MRI exam in Minnesota.
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the MRI revealed a sprained shoulder and Hughes will be shut down for 3-4 weeks, which likely means he’ll miss the Twins’ early spring training games.
Hughes is out of minor-league options, so if he doesn’t win a bench spot the Twins would have to trade him or risk losing the 27-year-old infielder on waivers. He hit .223 with seven homers and a .627 OPS in 96 games as a rookie last season and, if healthy, is expected to be a backup corner infielder.
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