From left, Minnesota Twins' Royce Lewis, Willi Castro and Ryan...

From left, Minnesota Twins' Royce Lewis, Willi Castro and Ryan Jeffers celebrate the win over the Chicago White Sox by Jeffers' RBI single in the 12th inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 23, 2023, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 5-4 in 12 innings. Credit: AP/Bruce Kluckhohn

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins returned third baseman Royce Lewis from his rehab assignment and reinstated him from the injured list on Tuesday, following a 36-game absence because of a strained left oblique muscle.

The Twins placed infielder Willi Castro on the injured list before their game against Detroit with what they called a mild left oblique strain to make room for Lewis, whose promising start to his major league career was waylaid by an injury for the second straight year.

“Coming here every day, especially when the team’s on the road," Lewis said Tuesday of his most recent rehab stint. “Getting in some work, just rehab work, taking care of whatever it is, oblique, the knee because we got to stay on top of the knee. Just little things, just take care of my whole body, really, and just be ready for ultimately today and now going forward the rest of the year.”

Last season, Lewis posted an .867 OPS in 12 games before tearing the ACL in his right knee. Called up on the one-year anniversary of that injury, the first overall pick in the 2017 draft picked right up where he left off by hitting .326 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 26 games until hurting his oblique on July 1.

He was in the lineup Tuesday, hitting in the third spot in Minnesota's order.

“He’s worked hard and done everything he’s needed to,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He’s healed up well. Playing well. I think he’s fully prepared to rejoin us and we’ll get him involved right in the middle of things, put him in the three-hole, and let him go play.”

Castro, 26, has certainly been a revelation in his first season with Minnesota. He's played in 101 games, tied for third on the team, and has hit .241 with 26 RBIs and 42 runs scored. He has a career-high 29 stolen bases, leading the team and tied for sixth in the majors.

Castro said the injury, termed a Grade 1 strain by team trainer Nick Paparesta, happened on a swing and kept the switch-hitter from swinging right-handed.

“I was doing my routine in the cage,” Castro said. “That’s the first time I felt the pain. And then during the game, I felt a little bit. The next day, I woke up, that’s when it wasn’t feeling right.”

Paparesta also had updates on other Twins on the injured list.

He said right-handed starter Joe Ryan (left groin strain) threw a bullpen session on Tuesday, which went well. The team wants to see how Ryan responds before determining the next step. Outfielder Byron Buxton (right hamstring strain) is getting back into baseball activities and first baseman/outfielder Alex Kirilloff (right shoulder strain) has started a hitting progression.

Reliever Brock Stewart (right elbow soreness) is throwing out to 90 feet but hasn't progressed to mound work.

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