Upton was all smiles before Friday night's game against the Twins.
"This is where I wanted to be the whole time," Upton said. "Unfortunately, I had to do what I had to do to get back. But now that's all behind me. I'm ready to chip in any way I can to help this team win.
"... I had to go and get back into playing shape. I feel great ... where I'm at. ... We're obviously going to have to stay on top of [it], but it's not going to be something to keep me from playing."
Upton sustained his injury in an outfield collision with left fielder Desmond Jennings on March 14, when the Rays played the Marlins in an exhibition game in Port Charlotte, Fla. When the problem lingered, the Rays opted to take a conservative approach with Upton's rehab, resulting in his starting the season on the disabled list.
"Absolutely [it was the right approach]," Upton said. "At that point in spring, there was no reason to rush me back. I think we're looking at the long haul here. Not the short term.
"I think for the short term, it was definitely good for me to go down there and kind of gather myself, and kind of [get] back in the swing of things."
Rays manager Joe Maddon noted that it was "nice" having Upton back in center field.
"It will really balance out the defense," Maddon said. "We did do a good job [in Upton's absence]. ... Overall, we played our normal defense in the outfield. But it's good to get him back and Desmond back in that corner. So now the range really increases. And further, getting B.J. hot at the plate will be nice. The kind of offense he's able to provide for us, we're still looking for that."
Upton went 0-for-3 for the game.