What we know for sure about Justin Morneau is that he is approaching his convalesence cautiously, and remains wary of any signs that his concussion may not be fully healed.

Given Morneau's caution, and his superstitious nature, and the fact that he has tried to carefully manage his media availability in regards to his situation, is it possible that he manages his schedule so that, even if he's ruled healthy, he avoids returning to the big leagues during the Twins' first road trip?

The Twins open in Toronto. That's where Morneau played his last game, because of the knee to his head that gave him this concussion. He's a Canadian, and if he returned to Rogers Centre in his return to the field, he would be the story of the weekend. Deep down, is that what he really wants?

The Twins leave Toronto and head for New York for the second series of the season. Deep down, does Morneau want to be the storyline in New York, involving the New York press?

If Morneau has any doubts about his readiness for Opening Day, he may find it convenient to wait until the Twins' first homestand, or even their second road trip (at Tampa and Baltimore).

Morneau could start playing in games by mid-March, then remain in Florida to face live pitching, and join the team in Tampa, if he's not ready by the Twins' first homestand.

Twins general manager Bill Smith remains optimistic about Morneau being ready for Opening Day. But if Morneau has any doubts about his readiness for Opening Day, he may find it convenient to come back a week or two later.

If everyone else is healthy, the Twins could simply move Michael Cuddyer to first and play Jason Kubel in right, with Jim Thome at DH. It worked last year.


Upcoming: I'll be on 1500ESPN this afternoon at 2:40, and tomorrow at 6:15. We'll run Sunday Morning Sports Talk from Hammond Stadium, starting at 10 a.m. We're trying to line up a Twins' guest and an expert on the NFL labor situation.




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