09/04/11 1:08 AM ET
Morneau's concussion symptoms improving
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Morneau, who suffered his concussion while trying to break up a double play on July 7 last year, started experiencing symptoms after diving for a ground ball on Sunday and hasn't played since.
He originally had a concussion test on Monday, which showed he was mildly below baseline, and this test showed he's almost back to where he needs to be to return.
"He had improvement, but I wouldn't say it's back to normal," McWane said. "The reports that I got say that he's going in the right direction.
"The test he takes is just one tool we use to evaluate the
concussion. So it's really more up to the doctor to determine when his
scores are appropriate. But again, it's one tool, and we also have to
go with how he feels. So once the doctors feel he's ready to return,
we submit that request to the league to approve it. But we're not at
Oblique strain ends Duensing's start in second
ANAHEIM -- Twins left-hander Brian Duensing left Saturday's start against the Angels after just 1 1/3 innings because of a right oblique strain.
He is considered day to day.
Duensing walked Erick Aybar to open the second inning before Jeff Mathis laid down a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line that was fielded by Duensing. He made the play to get Mathis out at first, but after two pitches to Peter Bourjos, he grabbed his side and was met at the mound by the Twins' training staff.
Duensing, who said the discomfort got worse as the game went along, was then removed in favor of right-hander Lester Oliveros.
"I just seemed to feel a little sore," Duensing said. "I felt it warming up in the bullpen and I thought it wasn't really serious and thought it was just some soreness. But when I started to warm up for the game, I kinda felt it a couple times. And I think every once in a while I really started to feel it and tried to compensate."
Oliveros struck out Bourjos looking for the second out but served up an RBI double to Alberto Callaspo before getting Howard Kendrick to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Duensing allowed five runs on three hits and two walks in his short outing. He gave up a grand slam to Mark Trumbo in the first inning of the Twins' 10-6 loss.
But he said he's hopeful that he'll be able to avoid the disabled list, as he didn't feel like it was a major injury.
"I think we're going to try to go day to day," Duensing said. "They think it might be intercostal, like the cartilage in between the ribs. The only time I really feel it is when I move down to crunch it."
But if Duensing does go on the disabled list, he'll join fellow starters Nick Blackburn (forearm), Scott Baker (elbow), and Francisco Liriano (shoulder) on the 15-day DL.
"It's crazy," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of the injuries suffered by his starting rotation. "I've never seen anything like it. I keep saying that, but it's true."
Gardenhire added the club will announce roster moves prior to Sunday's game against the Angels to bring some depth in time for Monday's doubleheader against the White Sox.
Gardenhire would not say who would be recalled, but it appears right-hander Liam Hendriks, the sixth-ranked prospect in the organization, could come up from Triple-A Rochester to start Tuesday's game at Target Field. Hendriks isn't on the 40-man roster but could take the spot left by Jim Thome's departure to Cleveland.
Liriano told to continue rehab on shoulder
ANAHEIM -- Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano met with Angels team physician Lewis Yocum to get a second opinion on his strained left shoulder on Saturday, but was told to continue rehabbing his injury.
Liriano, on the disabled list since Aug. 26, already underwent an MRI exam last week. It showed no further damage to his shoulder. He also had one in May, when he missed 14 games with a similar injury.
"It was nothing new," Liriano said. "It was the same as what the doctors told me in Minnesota. So I'm just going to rehab and see how I feel in a couple days."
Liriano said he plans on starting his throwing program on Monday or Wednesday, and that he still wants to pitch before the season ends as long as his shoulder gets better.
"It just depends on how I feel but that's the plan," Liriano said. "I want to throw at least a couple of innings before I go home."
Mauer sits out again with respiratory infection
ANAHEIM -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer stayed back at the team hotel with an upper respiratory infection on Saturday and missed his second straight game against the Angels.
Twins trainer Rick McWane described Mauer's symptoms as "general congestion" and "fluid in his ear," and added Mauer didn't feel any better on Saturday.
"He says he feels about the same as he did yesterday and is going to stay at the hotel again tonight," McWane said.
It's unknown whether Mauer will play in the series finale against the Angels on Sunday. He also missed six games with a sore neck before coming back to play on Tuesday and Wednesday against the White Sox.
Outfielder Jason Repko is also battling an illness, as he came to the ballpark with an upset stomach that was causing him to throw up. But McWane said Repko was available off the bench, if needed.
Sidelined by migraines, Span starts to work out
ANAHEIM -- Center fielder Denard Span, who went home for a week after dealing with migraines related to his concussion suffered on June 3, made his return to Target Field on Saturday to participate in baseball activities.
Span, on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 15 with migraine symptoms, flew back to the Twin Cities on Friday after resting at his home Tampa, Fla. Saturday marked the first time he resumed baseball activities and everything went well, according to Twins trainer Rick McWane.
"He hit, threw and ran around with no problems," McWane said. "So we'll talk to him when we get back and see where he's at. But he had a good day today."
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire added he's hopeful that Span will return before the season is over, but said it'll be up to Span to see how he feels moving forward.
"I honestly haven't even gone there yet," Gardenhire said. "We've had enough issues getting him back and working out. At this point, I really have no plan for what I'm going to be able to do with him. His situation is going to be basically dictated by him. I think the plan more than anything else is try to get him on the field and play some baseball before the season ends."