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.

Young's toe feels much better; Mauer continues knee rehab

Posted by: Phil Miller under Twins offense Updated: March 9, 2011 - 2:06 PM

FORT MYERS, FLA. -- Twins left fielder Delmon Young said today that the big toe on his left foot is feeling much better, and he's anxious to start getting regular at-bats in Grapefruit League games.

Young returned as the DH in Tuesday's B-game against Pittsburgh and walked in both of his plate appearances. The big test came when Justin Morneau doubled in the third inning, scoring Young from first base.

"It's good to be able to run without thinking [about the injury]," Young said. "It was great to get out there and see some pitches and play with the guys. It was real exciting to see Morneau back out there, doing what he does best, driving in runs."

Young is scheduled to be in the lineup Thursday, when the Twins play the Blue Jays at Hammond Stadium.

Young's injury had been described as turf toe, but he said a specialist in California reviewed his recent MRI results and concluded that his injury was actually a swollen joint capsule. According to WebMD.com, turf toe is sprain to the ligaments around the joint.

"Everything was intact structurally," Young said. "No turf toe, no ligament damage, no tendinitis or anything like that. When the MRI came back as just a swollen joint capsule, and everything was intact, I was cleared for activities."

MAUER UPDATE

Joe Mauer wasn't on the field for Wednesday's workout but he continued to rehab his surgically repaired left knee behind the scenes. I interviewed him for a story that will run later this month, and he seemed in good spirits.

Asked if he's getting concerned about the knee, and how well it's responding, he said, "I’d like to be out there right now, but I’m getting stronger, and the last few days, I’ve definitely made some big strides. Obviously, I’d like more time [to build leg strength], but April’s coming up and I’m doing pretty good."

As Mauer proved in April 2009, it doesn't take long to find his swing. The bigger issue is how much leg strength he's able to build heading into a long season behind the plate.

"I think the biggest thing in ‘09 was I got my legs ready to catch back-to-back days, things like that," he said. "Everybody’s different with their timing. I don’t have a whole lot of moving parts [at the plate], so it maybe takes some other guys longer to get ready.

"I guess going through ‘09 and seeing that I don’t need as much time as other people, it definitely makes me a little more at ease right now."

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