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Updated: May 4th, 2010 5:13pm
Joe Mauer undergoes MRI; Jeff Manship demoted

Joe Mauer undergoes MRI; Jeff Manship demoted

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer underwent an MRI today that confirmed the reigning American League MVP has a deep soft tissue bruise -- not a bone bruise, and not a fracture or anything more significant in his injured left heel.

"Now we know that it's a tissue bruise and not something that we need to set him down for a couple of weeks here," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Now, it's just as he goes, let it improve and go from there."

Injured on Friday, Mauer will miss a fourth consecutive game tonight against Detroit, but the Twins appear to be in no hurry to make a decision on whether to move him to the disabled list.

Asked whether he wants the injury to heal fully or would consider letting trainers pad Mauer's shoe once he's improved enough, Gardenhire said, "I have to rely on the player. As we do with every other injury, rely on him to tell us when he's ready to go. I'm not going to force him not to play; I'm not going to force him to play. He has to tell me when he's ready to go back out there."

The Twins optioned pitcher Jeff Manship to Class-AAA Rochester today to make room on the 25-man roster for right-hander Nick Blackburn, who was reinstated from the family emergency list and will start tonight.

The move leaves only six pitchers in the bullpen.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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