Twins' Hughes to have shoulder examined after collision in Australia

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 7, 2012 - 12:10 AM

The utility infielder will return to Minnesota for an MRI.

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Luke Hughes

Photo: Tony Dejak, Associated Press

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Twins infielder Luke Hughes will return to Minnesota to have his right shoulder examined later this week after injuring himself on a recent collision at home plate during the Australian winter league semifinals.

Hughes, 27, hit seven home runs in 96 games for the Twins last season and is expected to fight for a utility spot again during spring training. He batted .344 in 19 games this winter for his hometown team, the Perth Heat, but hasn't played since his collision against Melbourne.

"He had an MRI in Australia," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "We're going to bring him in here, probably Thursday or Friday, to make sure everything's in order. He'll go right to Fort Myers [Fla.] for spring training."

Ryan called the injury a strained shoulder.

"If he was 100 percent, we wouldn't shut him down," Ryan said. "But the collision is such that we need to make sure Luke's able to proceed without any complications."

Liriano update

Lefthander Francisco Liriano completed an up-and-down winter ball season with five shutout innings Sunday for the Dominican Republic in a 2-0 victory over Mexico in the Caribbean Series.

Liriano went 1-4 with a 5.49 ERA in seven winter ball starts, giving up 25 hits and 11 walks with 21 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings. On Sunday, he let five runners reach base the first two innings but kept getting ground balls to escape the jams. He recorded eight groundouts and no flyouts.

"You won't ever hear me complain if a guy has a bad winter statistically, and you're never going to hear me brag much about a guy who has a good winter statistically," Ryan said. "All I care is that they're playing if they need the at-bats or innings. [Liriano's] right about where he needs to be."

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