La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Morneau will NOT attend TwinsFest to continue workouts

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 24, 2011 - 6:13 PM

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau won't be at TwinsFest this weekend so he can continue his workouts near his offseason home in Arizona.

The decision was made by General Manager Bill Smith, who said Morneau is on a specific workout program and it's more important for him to keep on track.

``It's still a work in progress,'' Smith said, ''but he has made tremendous progress since the end of the season. That's why I don't want to set that back.''

Smith said he brought up the possibility with Morneau over the weekend and came to a final decision this afternoon. Smith said it was a tough decision, pointing out that TwinsFest is the largest contributor to the Twins Community Fund and the club prefers to have all its key players in attendance for the three-day event.

``To take four days out of it,'' Smith said, ``I just think that would be counter-productive.''

Morneau suffered a concussion in July - his second as a baseball player - and missed the rest of the season. He's at the point now where, doctors have told him, he can ignore any symptoms that might pop up and push right through it.

Smith is confident that Morneau will  be ready to start the regular season with the club - but wants Morneau to stick to his workout plan. And the next few weeks are important.




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