Morneau to sit six more weeks

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 25, 2011 - 1:39 AM

The Twins first baseman, already on the disabled list because of a wrist injury, is scheduled to have surgery on his neck.


Twins first baseman Justin Morneau

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

MILWAUKEE - Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will have surgery Wednesday to relieve a pinched nerve in his neck and isn't expected to return before August.

Morneau was dealing with the neck issue before going on the disabled list June 14 because of a strained left wrist. He was scheduled to have his cast removed Friday, but since he wasn't regaining strength as the Twins had hoped, they asked him to see a neck specialist, who recommended the surgery.

"It's a very noninvasive procedure that he'll have to remove a herniated disk fragment from his neck, and he should be back playing full in six weeks," Twins trainer Rick McWane said.

Since playing in all 163 Twins games in 2008, Morneau has had three frustrating years injury-wise. He missed the Twins' final 23 games in 2009, counting the postseason, because of a stress fracture in his lower back. He suffered a concussion last July 7 and missed the final 81 games, including the playoffs.

This year, Morneau played in 55 of the team's first 62 games, but even if he returned six weeks from Wednesday -- Aug. 10 -- this DL stretch will cost him about 50 games.

"It's unfortunate, but hopefully this is the last of all the stuff I'll have to go through," Morneau, 30, said in a conference call with reporters.

McWane stressed that Morneau wanted to avoid neck surgery but that the team urged him to see a specialist. The pinched nerve was causing weakness in Morneau's left arm and numbness in his left fingers. Morneau said he hasn't been able to feel his left index finger since the final week of spring training.

Morneau had two cortisone shots in his neck, one in April and one in May, but the numbness never went away.

The 2006 American League MVP found himself swinging with one arm, as he batted .225 with four homers and 21 RBI.

"I think the thing that kind of made the decision was hearing that it could be permanent -- the weakness in the arm and numbness in the fingers," Morneau said. "So hopefully the results will be good, and I'll be ready for August and September. And hopefully the boys keep playing well and I'm there for the pennant race instead of having to watch like I have for the last two years."

Morneau said he was feeling good about the progress he has made from the concussion he suffered sliding into second base at Toronto last summer. He still tires easily and still gets occasional headaches -- something that also happened before the concussion -- but he's thinking about the concussion less with each passing day.

If there's one blessing to this DL stint, it will distance him more from the concussion. He also kept the cast on his wrist, giving that injury more time to heal.

"It's kind of got me looking if there's anything I can do different in the offseason," Morneau said. "I'm trying to figure out if I'm doing something wrong, mechanically or in my training. Because as frustrating as it is for the fans who'd like to see this guy play, it's about a million times more frustrating for me."

Manager Ron Gardenhire said he had been hoping Morneau would get his cast removed Friday and be back in the lineup after four or five days.

"He'd been kind of a warrior for us up until he finally went out with this wrist thing," Gardenhire said. "So not very good news for us. We'll play and we'll do the best we can like we always do, but I feel bad for him more than anything."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)


Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Cleveland 11/6/14 7:25 PM
Memphis 97 FINAL
Indiana 89
Cleveland 114 FINAL
Chicago 108
Philadelphia 81 FINAL
Milwaukee 93
Portland 94 FINAL
Sacramento 103
San Antonio 89 FINAL
Phoenix 94
LA Clippers 118 FINAL
LA Lakers 111
Toronto 4 FINAL
Columbus 1
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Detroit 5
Anaheim 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 1
Nashville 3 FINAL
Calgary 4
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 38 FINAL
Tulane 14
Tulsa 20 FINAL
Memphis 40
Air Force 10:30 AM
ULM 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11:00 AM
(24) Duke 11:00 AM
Maryland 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11:00 AM
Rice 11:00 AM
(21) East Carolina 11:00 AM
UCF 11:00 AM
Boston College 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Washington 12:00 PM
Central Mich 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 1:30 PM
Western Ky 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 2:00 PM
Virginia 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 2:30 PM
Florida 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 3:00 PM
Kansas 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 4:00 PM
South Alabama 4:00 PM
New Mexico 4:30 PM
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 6:00 PM
Colorado State 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Wyoming 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 10:00 PM
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Memphis 11/7/14 6:30 PM
Utah State 11/7/14 7:00 PM
(12) Baylor 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(19) Oklahoma
(11) Kansas State 11/8/14 2:00 AM
(10) TCU
Hamilton 34 FINAL
Ottawa 25
Winnipeg 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the Twins contact Joe Maddon about their managing job?

Weekly Question