Piece by piece the Twins are hoping to continue filling out their big-league roster, and Joe Nathan should be the next player to return.

Nathan pitched a scoreless inning for Class AAA Rochester on Saturday and is scheduled to throw again Tuesday and Wednesday for the Red Wings. If that goes well, manager Ron Gardenhire said, Nathan could rejoin the team Friday in Milwaukee.

What version of Nathan the Twins get back from the disabled list, where the right- hander has been since May 28 because of a flexor muscle strain in his pitching arm, remains to be seen. Nathan left for Fort Myers, Fla., last week happier and more excited than he'd seemed in weeks about his surgically repaired right arm.

That state, brought on by Nathan's belief that he has broken up scar tissue in his arm that was holding him back, was still evident after Saturday's outing, Gardenhire said.

"He's feeling great. He's really pumped up and really excited," Gardenhire said. "The ball's coming out of his hand, he feels, as good as it has in a long time. That's a positive."

The manager said Nathan's biggest test will be pitching back-to-back days, something the Twins were wary to allow before the reliever's trip to the DL. Before his injury Nathan allowed 15 runs in 15-1/3 innings and surrendered his job as closer.