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Updated: August 10th, 2011 7:28pm
Justin Morneau set to return to team Friday against Cleveland

Justin Morneau set to return to team Friday against Cleveland

by Nate Sandell
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MINNEAPOLIS -- He hasn't played since June 9, but Twins first baseman Justin Morneau is poised to rejoin the team Friday in Cleveland.

Morneau, who has spent the last two months battling problems with his wrist and neck, has struggled to play consistently since he missed the second half of last season due to a concussion.

But manager Ron Gardenhire isn't worried the extended layoff will affect his play.

"If we get the guy back that we've seen hit, I think it'll be real entertaining, because we've all seen what he can do when he's healthy," Gardenhire said. "We've seen how he can carry a ball club."

Morneau has spent the week playing for Triple-A Rochester, where he has been hitting for consistent average.

"His body feels good," Gardenhire said. He's hitting on everything. He's ripping the ball pretty good. So we'll get him up here and let him swing."

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell
In this story: Ron Gardenhire, Justin Morneau