MINNEAPOLIS -- Royals third baseman Alex Gordon will likely return for this weekend's series against the Indians in Cleveland.
"It might even be the first day in Cleveland. That way we can get him back on natural surface and let him really get after it that first day and see how he feels," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "If he feels OK [in Minneapolis] and feels OK that first day in Cleveland, we'll see where we're at and maybe reactivate him for that doubleheader [on Saturday], get him back involved in one of those two games."
Gordon, on the disabled list since Aug. 23 with a torn right hip flexor muscle, will not be activated for the three-game series against the Twins because of concerns about the artificial playing surface.
"I don't think we're going to activate him here because of several reasons," Hillman said. "There's the Astroturf, giving him a chance to stay in his tennis shoes instead of putting those turf shoes on -- kind of grabbing those muscle fibers on the lower half a little bit more."
Although he has been pleased by the youngster's progress, Hillman said Gordon "probably thinks he's further along than he actually is; that's normal for a guy that wants to get back out there."
When Gordon returns, he will do so at third base. Mark Teahen has been manning the hot corner in Gordon's absence.
"Yeah, I'll put [Gordon] back at third," Hillman said. "We'll mix and match Teahen. As soon as Alex comes back, I certainly don't plan on throwing him back playing every day after that injury. We'll kind of see how that goes, see how his body reacts. We'll mix Mark back in in the outfield and try to keep his at-bats going, as well."
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.