Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Morneau returns to baseball related activities

Even with the sweep by the Indians on Monday in the doubleheader, the Twins received some positive news on the injury front. Justin Morneau was on the field to take grounders, play catch, and run around for the first time since having surgery on the pinch nerve in his neck.

It has been three weeks since Morneau went under the knife and the initial reports had Morneau missing at least six weeks. That means that Morneau would not return to the Twins until mid-August at the earliest. With Morneau returning to baseball activities, he could be ahead of the timetable the team laid out before his surgery.

The next step for Morneau is to start swinging a bat and that could be the hardest part of the rehab process. There is a lot more twisting of your body and neck during a swing than during other baseball related activities. Once Morneau reaches this part of his rehab, the Twins will have a better idea of when he will be able to return to the playing field.

The plethora of injuries that Morneau has suffered since 2009 are hard to ignore. He missed time in 2009 due to back surgery, a concussion cost him most of 2010, and neck surgery ate up part of this season. All together, he has only played in 271 of the last 486 games for the Twins.

It is hard to imagine Morneau being able to return to his MVP form of 2006 and the first half of 2010. Morneau is a competitor and he will work his tail off to get back to that form at some point in his career. Fans are left to wonder if he will regain that form while he is still wearing a Twins uniform.

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