Twins manager Ron Gardenhire warns not to read too much into the fact Justin Morneau will work out with the team on Thursday, but it does have to be a positive sign.
"He's going to work with us not he field and take some ground balls and hit some BP, and there's no sense in going any farther than that," Gardenhire told reporters, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press ' Kelsie Smith . "People want to know [when he'll be back]. We want to know, too. But let's let him work out.
"Does it make a difference if he's with us? That's an obvious. Goodness gracious, if you had a Justin Morneau in your lineup, that'd be wonderful. BUt he hasn't played in 2 1/2 months and all of a sudden he's going to make the playoff roster and play? You're jumping the gun."
Morneau hasn't played since suffering a concussion on July 7. He is expected to take batting practice and field ground balls before Thursday's game against Toronto at Target Field. The Twins return from Kansas City tonight.
The Twins could certainly use a healthy Morneau in the playoffs, but at this point, it seems tough to expect him to be in MVP form after not playing for nearly three months. Gardenhire said Morneau still has "a long way to go."
However, the Twins should be applauded for taking every precaution with Morneau and his injury, especially since it isn't his first concussion, and so much is still unknown about the effects of concussions.
The Twins also expect to get Joe Mauer back in the lineup on Thursday. He worked out with the team and expects to serve as the team's designated hitter against the Blue Jays, MLB.com's Robert Falkoff writes .
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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