Because so much time passed since Dirks' rehab was halted at high Class A Lakeland, he'll have the full allotment of 20 days available before the Tigers have to make a move. Manager Brad Ausmus said Dirks might not necessarily need the entire 20 days.
That's a change from Dirks' original assignment a few weeks ago, which head athletic trainer Kevin Rand compared to a Spring Training. Since Dirks already has a week of games and at-bats, he could conceivably be ready sooner.
"It's certainly nothing like when he restarted initially," Ausmus said. "He had been doing it for a little bit. He's not starting from ground level again, for sure."
Before any callup, though, Dirks is still expected to have his rehab assignment stop through Triple-A Toledo to see advanced pitching. The Mud Hens begin a 10-game homestand next Thursday, which could provide perfect timing for the next step.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.