Jim Thome receives treatment on back

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Minnesota Twins designated hitter Jim Thome returned to Minneapolis on Tuesday to receive treatment on his back.

"He's going to use the facilities at Target [Field]," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Tuesday's game against the Kansas City Royals. "We won't see him until Thursday."

Thome has not played since Sept. 22 because of the bad back but is expected to be ready for the AL playoffs next week. He leads the Twins with 25 home runs and a .631 slugging percentage.

Also, shortstop J.J. Hardy returned Monday to Minnesota to have his sore left knee examined. He has not played since leaving Saturday's game at Detroit with the injury.

"J.J. has been checked out and he's fine," Gardenhire said. "His knee has gotten better. There's still some swelling, but it's better."