After nearly two months of working out, sitting around and working out again, Dirks was cleared to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Sunday. While the Tigers wrapped up their homestand at Comerica Park, Dirks headed down Interstate 75 to Fifth Third Field for the Mud Hens' game on Sunday evening.
"I'll probably start out with a few at-bats, probably not right into full games," Dirks said. "I'll kind of work into it and see how it goes from there."
When the Hens go on the road Tuesday to Columbus, Dirks will go with them. He'll stick with them well after that, given how much time he has missed.
"His will be a little bit longer time than most rehabs," manager Jim Leyland said.
The maximum rehab assignment by rule is 30 days. It might not be that long, but it'll be long enough that it's difficult to envision the potential roster move to make room for him until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline passes and the Tigers' 25-man roster shifts. That holds especially if Detroit adds a second baseman, as expected, and/or another right-handed bat.