The Rays outfielder made pinch-hit appearances on Sunday and Tuesday, even playing in the outfield for two innings Tuesday.
Although Joyce said he probably could have returned earlier, the training staff wanted to take a cautious approach with his sore right knee.
"It's feeling a lot better," Joyce said. "The last couple of days, it has been swollen. But they just didn't want it to blow up on me, and then me miss another three or four days."
Joyce was hitting fifth in Wednesday's lineup and playing right field.