DETROIT -- Third baseman Carlos Guillen continues to be limited by pain in his lower back, leaving a return for this weekend's series at Minnesota all but out of the question.
"If I was thinking off the top of my head, I'd say maybe Monday," manager Jim Leyland said on Tuesday when asked when Guillen could return.
Guillen said on Tuesday afternoon that he still can't swing a bat because of the pain, which has left him sidelined for the past week. Any timetable toward getting him back on the field depends on how he feels, and that has been slow to nil on progress.
Asked whether he thinks he could play this weekend, Guillen cautiously said, "I don't know."
The fact that the calendar has changed to September has given the Tigers an easier time dealing with Guillen's absence. Instead of putting him on the 15-day disabled list, the Tigers went with an extra position player for most of last week by optioning right-hander Chris Lambert to Triple-A Toledo and recalling Jeff Larish to handle third. Lambert was recalled on Tuesday in time to make his scheduled start, with Ryan Raburn filling in at third against Angels left-hander Joe Saunders.
Larish adds a left-handed bat to the lineup, but Guillen's performance has been harder to make up. He was batting .286 with 29 doubles, 10 home runs and 54 RBIs in 113 games this season. Larish is 4-for-22 with three RBIs and seven strikeouts in five games since rejoining the Tigers.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.