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.

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.

Mauer: 'A bigger deal than it really is'

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 23, 2011 - 8:25 AM

Twins catcher Joe Mauer clearly wasn't thrilled that manager Ron Gardenhire informed the media that he received an injection in his left knee yesterday.

``I kinda wish it wasn't out there,'' Mauer said, ``but here we are.''

Mauer was injected with Supartz, a solution that helps lubricate knee joints. Treatments like Supartz and Synvisc (which Nick Blackburn has in his knee) have been very effective over the years. Mauer said some NFL linemen are injected with Supartz, which could be a good sign for someone who has to squat for nine innings,

The decision to have the injections came in the weeks following his December surgery to clean up the knee.

``We talked about it a little bit as a possibility,'' Mauer said. ``It's pretty common. A lot of athletes have them. I guess being a catcher and all that stuff, it might sound a lot worse than what it is.''

Mauer is supposed to take it easy today and be checked on again Thursday. There are still no plans to have him catch in the bullpen.

Supartz, by the way, is administered through as many as five shots. Mauer acknowledged that he will need two or three more shots, each one given about a week apart.


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