Morneau's return not yet set

Justin Morneau sounded on Tuesday as if his ego was bruised more than his lung.

Justin Morneau sounded on Tuesday as if his ego was bruised more than his lung.

"It's a little embarrassing," he said. "When you run into the catcher, the catcher is supposed to fall."

The Twins first baseman met with reporters for the first time since being hospitalized for three days in Florida because of a bruised lung suffered on Friday when he tried to run over Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo at home plate.

A CAT scan Tuesday showed the bruise still exists, and it's not known how long Morneau will be out. The club initially thought Morneau would miss a few games and be back in the lineup by today or Thursday.

Morneau, sounding cautious, wasn't sure if he would be able to appear at all during this short four-game homestand. He said if he rushes back, he could experience more bleeding.

"I don't want to put a date on it," Morneau said, "You don't want to push it too much, then all of a sudden I'm out for two or three weeks. You want to take that extra two or three days and make sure it's better and then be ready to go the rest of the way.

"We have to see how it goes, then I have to run around a little bit and see how it feels."

He will undergo more tests Wednesday, as team doctors make sure there's no risk of a setback.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he continues to be told his reigning AL MVP won't need to go on the disabled list.

Morneau said doctors in Florida never made it appear he was ever in any danger, which was comforting after he coughed up blood following the collision.

"It was pretty scary," he said. "After it happened, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me. I got up and got back to the dugout, all of a sudden I start coughing and I'm spitting this blood. Any time it happens, it's a little bit scary."

justin@learntoslide.com

Once everyone found out Morneau would be fine, he was assailed with messages.

"[Former teammate] Corey Koskie wanted to know if he needed to come over and teach me how to run over the catcher," Morneau said. "He said he'll set his kids up, starting with the youngest one who's 1 ½.

"[Wild winger] Mark Parrish asked me if [former Wild player] Willie Mitchell taught me how to hit."

Even as Morneau spoke, Blue Jays masher Matt Stairs walked over and chided him for being a former hockey goalie.

"If you had been a defenseman or power forward, it never would have happened!" said Stairs, like Morneau a native Canadian.

Twins players were on his case, too. "We've got to help him learn how to slide into home plate," catcher Joe Mauer said.

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