3B Evan Longoria played in his second game Friday with Triple-A Durham as he works his way back into shape after missing what is now 77 games with a partially torn left hamstring that occurred April 30.

He came through Thursday's game, in which he was 0-for-3 with a walk, in good health, though Rays manager Joe Maddon said Longoria really didn't have an opportunity to push his hamstring.

Longoria will serve as the Rays' DH when he returns, though Maddon said that return might not be as soon as originally believed when Longoria left the team this week to join the Bulls. At that time, there had been speculation that Longoria would rejoin the lineup as early as Monday, when the Rays begin a three-game series in Oakland.

"It's not out of the question. Would I bet on it? No. It's based on how he feels," Maddon said.

Maddon said the Rays still want to be patient with Longoria, not push him past what he feels comfortable doing. Maddon said that might push Longoria's return to when the Rays get home Friday to begin their next homestand.

"More than likely when we get back is a better bet, if in fact it happens that quickly," Maddon said. "Honestly, it's a day-to-day thing."