Morneau could be back on field soon

FORT MYERS, FLA. - Twins first baseman Justin Morneau could be about to clear one of his final hurdles before playing again.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau has scheduled an appointment to see a specialist in Pittsburgh, something that was expected to happen before Morneau plays in spring training games. Gardenhire wasn't sure exactly when the examination would take place.

"Morneau is going to see a doctor," Gardenhire said. "We'll get an update on that when he decides to go or when he's going."

Morneau hasn't played since suffering a concussion when he was kneed in the head on July 7 while sliding into second base in Toronto.

He arrived at camp last week and has taken part in all drills. He's worn sunglasses to ensure that the sunlight doesn't trigger symptoms. He's battered batting practice pitches all over the Lee County Sports Complex.

Cuddyer's wart

A Twins official Sunday said that a decision on Michael Cuddyer's wart on his left foot must be made "pretty soon," in case the wart needs to be removed.

Cuddyer has been slowed by the wart since camp opened. He can run in a straight line but, because the wart is on the outside of his foot, he can't turn well.

Jason Kubel started in right field on Sunday night as the Twins opened their exhibition schedule with an 8-4 victory over Boston at Hammond Stadium.

The Twins ordered special cream to treat the wart, hoping that is would kickstart the healing process. But if that doesn't work, the wart might have to be removed, and Cuddyer would be out for at least a couple of weeks.

"I just don't want it to be something that lingers all the way into the season" Gardenhire said. "They told me if they would have to take this off his foot he would have to miss a couple of weeks, but I would rather have him miss a couple weeks now than something later.

"They honestly believe [the cream] will work. I would really like to get this taken care of down here."


• Righthander Pat Neshek's last warmup pitch before the third inning hit 88 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun. During the inning, he topped out at 86 mph. Not alarming, considering it was his first outing of spring training and most pitchers gain 2-3 miles an hour before camp ends.

• Scott Baker threw in the bullpen on Sunday with no problems with his elbow. He's scheduled to start on Tuesday against Boston.

• Denard Span turned 27 on Sunday.

On deck

The Twins and Red Sox meet again Monday, this time at City of Palms Park on the north side of Fort Myers. Nick Blackburn will start for the Twins and be followed by fellow righthander Kevin Slowey. Righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka will start for the Red Sox. Twins infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka will not be on the trip, so there won't be a matchup against his former Team Japan teammate.

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