Injured Twins slugger Miguel Sano participated in running drills Monday and took batting practice on Tuesday as he inches toward a return from a shin injury that has sidelined the third baseman for nearly a month.

With only 18 games remaining after Tuesday, manager Paul Molitor indicated he’d be OK with making Sano his designated hitter before he’s able to play third base, opening the potential for Sano to return next week.

“I’m more concerned about his bat,” Molitor said. “I’m not too worried about him playing third base right now.”

Sano has been out since Aug. 20 with what has been termed a stress reaction on his left leg. He took batting practice Tuesday with a protective contraption around his shin.