Joe Mauer left Sunday's game against Baltimore with back issues, but neither he nor the Twins sounded too concerned about it. Here was the exchange postgame, as written by the Star Tribune's Phil Miller:
“I tried to keep getting it loose, but just trying to loosen it was aggravating it,” Mauer said. “I knew before first pitch it was going to be a tough day, and it kept getting worse.”
But he received treatment throughout the game, and “I feel a lot better,” he said after the 5-2 victory over Baltimore. “Hopefully, it’s not too long and I can get out there soon.”
As soon as Monday at Cleveland? “I hope so,” he said. “We’ll see — I’ll get a good night’s rest, get some treatment on it, and see how it feels tomorrow.”
Well, Monday is here and Mauer is not in the lineup.
Perhaps it's just a matter of being cautious and he really will be back soon.
But we have seen injuries linger longer than expected with the Twins before. Such as ...
Oswaldo Arcia. Here's the start of a Strib story about Arcia that was published April 7, exactly four weeks ago:
Oswaldo Arcia sat in the clubhouse before the game with a device attached to his sore right wrist that’s supposed to help speed recovery. Along with anti-inflammatory medications and at least four days of rest, the Twins hope he can return to the lineup by Wednesday. “It’s not bad. No pain when I throw,” Arcia said. “When I swing, if [the pitch] is outside, OK. If it’s inside, [I have to] bring hands in, then it hurts.” A hand specialist said Saturday that his condition appears minor, and Arcia said he will try to take batting practice on Monday to test the wrist, though he won’t play, in hopes of returning after Tuesday’s day off.
We're still waiting for Arcia's return to the Twins' roster, though he is playing on a rehab assignment. But also: Josh Willingham. Here's the start of a Strib story from April 14:
There’s a fracture in the pisiform bone of Josh Willingham’s left wrist, Twins doctors discovered Saturday, but the bone and the break are both so small, the Twins hope their cleanup hitter can return in another week or so.
Three weeks later, no Willingham in the lineup.
Again, we're not saying this will happen with Mauer. We are saying there is precedent for a minor injury to turn into something that lingers. In Mauer's case, back spasms seem to be a candidate for a quick return -- something that comes and goes that can hopefully be controlled with treatment. We shall see.