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10/10/09 2:55 PM EST

Sore hip won't stop Mauer from catching

Twins backstop expects to be behind plate through playoffs

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer has been playing with a sore hip flexor, but he's still expected to catch for as long as his team is in the playoffs.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he believed Mauer first felt the injury when he tripped while rounding first base in Tuesday's 6-5, 12-inning tiebreaker win over the Tigers. But Mauer reiterated to his manager that he's been able to play through the injury, so it's not something that will keep him off the field or force him to be used only as the designated hitter during the American League Division Series against the Yankees.

"As he told me before I left the clubhouse just now, 'I am a catcher, no matter what you say,'" Gardenhire said in his Saturday morning news conference.

Mauer admitted after Friday's 4-3, 11-inning loss in Game 2 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium that he's been dealing with some soreness and that his running has been affected by it.

"I'm just not feeling too well right now," Mauer said after the contest, in which he went 2-for-4. "I'm slowed up a bit. ... That [tiebreaker], I got pretty banged up. What can you do?"

Mauer was standing on second base on Friday night when Michael Cuddyer hit a single to center field with no outs in the 11th inning. Mauer only advanced to third on the play to load the bases, but he didn't appear to have a chance to score based on the way he was running and the fact that the ball was hit hard and right at center fielder Brett Gardner. The Twins did not end up scoring that inning, as Yankees reliever David Robertson worked out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam.

Division Series
Gm. 1NYY 7, MIN 2WrapVideo
Gm. 2NYY 4, MIN 3 (11)WrapVideo
Gm. 3NYY 4, MIN 1WrapVideo

Mauer was asked Saturday if his soreness prevented him from scoring on Cuddyer's single.

"I don't think so," Mauer said. "It was hit pretty hard. [Third-base coach Scott Ullger] held me up, so I don't know."

As for how the injury might affect him for the rest of the series, Mauer tried to downplay the issue. He said he'll be behind the plate for Sunday's Game 3 and that the soreness he's feeling is nothing really out of the ordinary.

"It's been a long year," Mauer said. "I'm banged up, but that's it."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.