Perkins has yet to pitch this season as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
"It's the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication from a lot of people," the 34-year-old Perkins said. "Over the last 16 months all the people that have had a hand in helping me get back, I'm appreciative and thankful for them. There's too many to list. The trainers and the pitching coaches I had while I was rehabbing, the advice I got from those guys and all the hard work that everybody put in I'm grateful for. Without them I wouldn't be here, but it's exciting.
"Throughout the course of that time, there's moments where you think that it's not going to work and to get back here and know that I have a chance to pitch (Thursday) is a special feeling."
Perkins has posted an 0-1 mark with a 6.14 ERA in eight rehab appearances in Minnesota's minor league system.
"We all knew he was on the verge, we just didn't know the day it was going to happen," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "... I think we're all impressed by the perseverance that he's had to show to find a way to get back to the big leagues and it's finally here after many, many months of work."
A three-time All-Star, Perkins has notched a 35-25 record with 120 saves and a 3.83 ERA in 401 career appearances with the Twins.
In a corresponding move, Minnesota placed left-hander Dietrich Enns on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.