Posted on 01 May 2012.
The Minnesota Twins not only lost Monday’s game to the Los Angeles Angels, but they also lost first baseman Justin Morneau to a wrist injury for at least a few games.
Morneau left Monday’s game after just two at-bats with a sore left wrist. Sean Burroughs replaced him in the seventh inning as the Twins’ designated hitter.
It’s the same wrist that gave Morneau problems during the 2011 season. He had surgery on the wrist in late September to stabilize a tendon in the back of the wrist. Morneau had to be in a cast for six weeks following that surgery. Morneau said Monday that the tendon in his wrist didn’t feel loose, but did feel sore and painful.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t provide many details to reporters about Morneau’s wrist after the game, but said that Morneau will fly back to Minneapolis on Tuesday to see Dr. Thomas Varecka, a hand and wrist specialist in the Twin Cities whom Morneau has seen before.
After the game, Morneau was hoping it wasn’t a major issue and said he wasn’t sure if he’ll get an MRI exam when he sees Dr. Varecka. Morneau added that his wrist has been bothering him since the Twins played in Tampa Bay a week and a half ago.
“It’s just sort of one of those things I was able to deal with and then it kind of got worse over the weekend,” Morneau told reporters. “There’s not really much I can do. Hopefully it’s just scar tissue breaking up.”
Prior to exiting Monday’s game, Morneau was 0 for 2. He grounded out to first base to lead off the second inning and struck out swinging against Angels starter C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning. Burroughs entered the on-deck circle for Morneau in the sixth inning but was left on deck after Josh Willingham popped out for the final out. Burroughs, batting for Morneau, led off the seventh inning with a groundout to first.
Morneau said his wrist hurt more Monday when he swung and missed as opposed to making contact. Morneau swung and missed twice during his second at-bat in the fourth inning, including strike three on a 93 mph fastball.
“It didn’t feel very good, that’s for sure,” Morneau said. “Hopefully we get some answers (Tuesday).”
After appearing in just 69 games during the 2011 seasons with numerous injuries including his wrist Morneau had played in all but two of the Twins’ games this season, although just four of those games came at first base. Minnesota’s lineup Monday was also without catcher Joe Mauer, who had a day off for the first time all season. Mauer took a foul ball off his left knee in Sunday’s series finale against Kansas City and did not play Monday in Anaheim.
Through Monday’s game, Morneau is batting .230 with nine RBI and four home runs in 74 at-bats. After bouncing back from a concussion that he’s dealt with the past two years, Morneau’s recent injury is certainly a disappointing setback.
“I’m not going to play worst-case scenario yet. I’ve got to stay positive and hope for the best,” Morneau said. “Hopefully it’s just part of the process or something that will just be a couple days. . . . I’ll stay optimistic for now until I hear anything different.”
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