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Updated: April 28th, 2011 11:09am
Joe Mauer 'making progress' but still not close to returning

Joe Mauer 'making progress' but still not close to returning

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Sidelined for two weeks with a viral infection and bilateral leg weakness, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer was eligible to come off the disabled list prior to Thursday's doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays.

That didn't happen, which comes as no surprise.

"He's making progress," said head trainer Rick McWane, who sat in on manager Ron Gardenhire's pregame media session on Thursday -- a trend that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. "We just have to decide when to let him to go back to baseball activities."

Mauer, who has been doing pool and weight room work at Target Field, will meet with trainers and doctors on Thursday to determine the next step. He will not travel with the team on its upcoming road trip to Kansas City, Chicago and Boston.

The team said previously that Mauer's weakness may be tied to the viral infection, but McWane said "doctors are very confident that he is perfectly healthy, other than the orthopedic soreness that he currently is experiencing.

"So there's no connection between his virus and the orthopedic injuries."

A time table for Mauer's return is undetermined, but the team has acknowledged he will need to go on a rehab stint.

"He wasn't strong enough to handle the every-day catching," McWane said. "At the end of spring training he said that's the best he had felt, and he was doing fine. He didn't have any issues with his knee at the end of spring training, and still, his knee feels good.

"It wasn't a matter of his knee not being ready, he just I don't think had the repetitions catching or anything else. Once the season started, he started to wear down. So I don't know what's unique about it. Then he got sick on top of that."

"It was just a perfect storm of several things that happened at the same time."

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
In this story: Ron Gardenhire, Joe Mauer
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