The Twins reinstated right-hander Nick Blackburn to start Wednesday's series finale.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Pavano would be "getting away from throwing a baseball" while on the disabled list. He didn't provide a timetable for when Pavano might return to the rotation, only saying multiple times that those decisions are left to the doctors and trainers.
"He's not going to pitch for us," Gardenhire said.
The 36-year-old Pavano is 2-5 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 starts this season.
He hinted that a trip to the disabled list could be in store when he struggled mightily last Friday against Cleveland. Pavano allowed six runs and nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings.
The timing worked out well for Blackburn to slide back into the rotation.
He's been on a rehab assignment after dealing with a strained left quad and is coming off a start Sunday at Triple-A Rochester that was cut short by rain. He allowed four runs on four hits his first time out and one run in 2 1-3 innings for the Red Wings.
"I was watching him. I actually watched him throw an inning or two," Gardenhire said. "His ball was sinking, really diving. He got some quick outs, he definitely located. He pounded the inside corner. He's healthy - that's the big thing."
Blackburn went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA last year to give the Twins hope he could be counted on in the rotation this season. But he got off to a 1-4 start with a ghastly 8.37 ERA in his first seven games, and eventually landed on the DL with the quad injury.
"It just fit. We wanted him to throw some more innings down there, but this is the right thing to do," Gardenhire said. "We'll just go ahead and bring Blackburn up here. He had two starts, plus he threw a 90-pitch bullpen in Minnesota. His legs are great. His arm feels great."
In other news, Joe Mauer was out of the lineup for Minnesota because of a sprained right thumb. Mauer had started 51 of the team's first 53 games after missing much of last season, and is hitting .298 with a .407 on-base percentage that ranked among the league leaders.
"He's day-to-day. I don't know," Gardenhire said. "We'll just go day-to-day with it. He came in today, he's a little sore. We'll see how he is tomorrow, and we'll just work through it. I have no timeframe. Just day-to-day is what they told me."