DETROIT -- Andy Dirks' recovery finally appeared to be heading in the right direction. After missing nearly two months with right Achilles' tendinitis, Dirks had begun baseball activities and hoped to start a rehab assignment sometime this week.
The Tigers outfielder is still hopeful he can start that rehab assignment soon, but following a workout Tuesday he reported soreness in the area and was temporarily shut down.
"It wasn't too good," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland when asked Thursday morning about the update he received on Dirks. "He was real good the day before, and then he came in yesterday sore. So we've backed off it a little bit again."
Leyland said Dirks has stopped doing any baseball-related activities. But Dirks sounded like he wouldn't be out for long.
"That's expected to be a little sore. I haven't done much on it," Dirks said. "That was the most I did on it, and I came in yesterday a little stiff."
The soreness didn't come as a surprise to Dirks, but it was a bit unexpected after he went through a week of workouts in Lakeland, Fla., without pain. However, Tuesday was admittedly the hardest he's pushed it.
Dirks met with the trainers in the morning and said rain hindered him from doing anything on the field, but he would "make something happen."
"They're not going to let me get out on the wet field," Dirks said. "So I'm going to go in and do stuff with [strength and conditioning coach] Javar [Gillette], and we'll make something happen today to see how it feels."
It's a minor setback, but a frustrating one for the 26-year-old Dirks, who was batting .328 before suffering the injury and being sent to the disabled list on May 31.
Leyland's said time and time again that it will require a good deal of at-bats in the Minors before Dirks is ready to return to the big league club. Dirks still isn't ruling out getting a few of those at-bats this weekend.
"It's still a possibility. It's definitely still a possibility," Dirks said. "It's getting better. But yesterday it's just a little sore. So why would we want to push it? It's already been two months. It's a little sore. Just go out there and keep running hard until it re-injures itself to what it was before? That doesn't make any sense."