DETROIT – The Twins, playing without Joe Mauer, took two of three from Detroit this week. How many more games they will play without their All-Star catcher remains to be seen as he recovers from concussion symptoms.
Mauer arrived at Comerica Park on Thursday and met with a doctor for a brief examination. Mauer was then cleared to fly home to the Twin Cities to continue his recovery. Mauer took a foul tip off his facemask on Monday during a game at Target Field against the Mets but didn’t experience dizziness until he was preparing to play the Tigers on Tuesday. Tests revealed concussion symptoms, and he spent Wednesday at the team hotel.
“He did not feel great [Wednesday],” said Rob Antony, Twins assistant general manager. “He was better [Thursday].”
Justin Morneau, a close friend of Mauer’s who battled concussion problems in 2010 and 2011, spoke with Mauer briefly.
“Improvement right away is a good sign,” Morneau said. “Obviously, I’m not a doctor, but I have dealt with this stuff. When you have the same symptoms for the first week, 10-12 days that’s not necessarily a good sign. But he’s showing that he’s feeling better already and he should be all right. You hope for the best.”
Antony said Mauer will stay in contact with Twins trainer Dave Pruemer. Once Mauer makes enough progress, Pruemer might have him go for a long walk, then slowly build from there. The Twins hope Mauer ends up on the same timetable as Ryan Doumit, who needed a week to recover from a concussion earlier this month.
The Twins headed to Cleveland after Thursday’s game unsure of when Mauer will return to action. Morneau said no one can match his at-bats and production at the plate, so they have to focus on what they do well. Morneau told Mauer to be careful with his recovery.
“The only real thing I told him was to get as much rest as he can,” Morneau said. “Sleep if you feel like sleeping. Rest will help more than anything.”
LA VELLE E. NEAL III