Justin Morneau arrived at Twins camp today, then conducted a long, thoughtful interview on the subject of his concussion, recovery and timetable.
He said he won't play in the first four or five games of spring training. Later, I spoke with Twins GM Bill Smith, who told me it might be more like seven to 10 games.
Here's what we know: Morneau has been out of action for more than seven months and remains cautious. I've been optimistic about his eventual recovery all along, because Morneau is a hard worker and great competitor, but this is an obvious sign that the Twins have no idea whether he'll be ready for opening day.
Which is fine. Too often we spend spring trainings obsessing about the opening day roster, and then by June the roster has turned over significantly because of injuries and failures, and is due to be overturned more by midseason trades.
It doesn't really matter whether Morneau is ready on opening day. What matter is that he has a productive season. The Twins' caution is appropriate.
-Star Tribune photographer Carlos Gonzalez is doing a daily photo gallery at startribune.com. You can also find it by following him on Twitter at @CarlosGphoto.
-I'll be on at 2:40 p.m. every afternoon on 1500espn, and will conduct another Sunday Sports Talk from here at 10 a.m. on Sunday, while partner Tom Pelissero will be in Indy at the NFL combine. We're everywhere.
-Too early to give you any impressions about players at spring training. Delmon Young is the only player I haven't seen in the clubhouse so far, but that's not a big deal. I saw him at TwinsFest and he looks like he's in excellent shape
One Twins coach told me today, ``It's fun to see all these young, smiling faces in this clubhouse during workouts, and then see how tight these kids get when the games start.'' So true.
-I'll check in tomorrow, after watching Morneau during his first workout.
-My opinion on the Vikings placing the franchise tag on Chad Greenway: He's a good player, and worth protecting, but if I'm going to pay $10 million to a linebacker, I want to see impact plays. Sacks. Interceptions. Forced fumbles. I'd like to see the Vikings' coaches putting Greenway in position to make more big plays, not just be a cog.
-Kevin Love is a wonderful player, but, man, did he look lead-footed as compared to the other NBA All-Stars. Having great hands doesn't matter much if you can't get to the ball.
-Because of the culture of the team this season, I wouldn't be surprised if the Wild survives Mikko Koivu's hand injury and still makes the playoffs. That's not rational analysis, just a gut feeling.
-The Gophers basketball team should beat Michigan State at home on Tuesday. But do you really trust this team? I don't.