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Updated: September 30th, 2010 4:52pm
Joe Mauer (knee) and J.J. Hardy (knee) return to lineup; Thome not ready

Joe Mauer (knee) and J.J. Hardy (knee) return to lineup; Thome not ready

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Morneau dominated pre-game headlines with his first full workout in weeks, but the Minnesota Twins received more positive injury news on Thursday as well.

Joe Mauer (knee) and J.J. Hardy (knee) both returned to the starting lineup to face the Toronto Blue Jays -- Hardy back at shortstop and Mauer as the designated hitter.

Hardy, who dealt with a swollen knee during the Twins' last road trip, has played in only one game since September 20.

Mauer, who experienced some tissue inflammation, has been out since September 19.

Jim Thome has been out for more than a week with back soreness, and will need a couple more days, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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