Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Morneau returns to batting cage and begins fielding drills

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins offense Updated: February 9, 2011 - 4:13 PM

In an e-mail to the Star Tribune, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said "things are going well" in his concussion recovery.

He has been working out in the gym, near his offseason home in Phoenix, without limitations for the past five weeks. He started swinging a bat early last week and said, "that has gone well so far."

When the Twins announced that Morneau wouldn't be coming to TwinsFest in late-January, it set off new waves of anxiety for fans that he wouldn't be ready for spring training, or the April 1 season opener.

Morneau, 29, hasn't played since he suffered his concussion July 7 in Toronto. It sounds like there were times this offseason when his progress slowed, making it tough for anyone to issue assurances.

But with the Twins set to hold their first full-squad workout Feb. 23 in Fort Myers, Fla., Morneau sounds encouraged. In his mid-January update, he said he didn't plan to resume baseball activities until after TwinsFest, and that's exactly what he did.

"I am starting to feel more confident during my workouts, as I am not going through a mental checklist of how a certain exercise feels while I am doing it, every time I try something," he said. "I am happy with the progress recently, and it has been a long winter for me, but I am excited to hopefully be back on the field with my teammates soon."

Update: Morneau plans to be in Fort Myers by the time postion players report on Feb. 22.

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