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Updated: September 16th, 2011 10:55pm
Lingering oblique soreness will sideline Nishioka for rest of season

Lingering oblique soreness will sideline Nishioka for rest of season

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Another man down.

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced after Friday night's 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians that shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka has been shut down for the rest of the season due to lingering oblique soreness.

"He's out. The trainers have shut him down," Gardenhire said. "They're giving him treatment now for his ribs, and he will not play the rest of the year. He's not going to go to New York (Monday).

"They're shutting him down, and they're basically giving him his program for the winter to get healthy first, and what we'd like him to do during the winter. So he's shut down for the rest of the year."

Nishioka initially began missing games with the oblique soreness in late August, but he came back after a week and attempted to play through some pain.

"The last time he tried to play, he was hurting pretty bad," Gardenhire said. "I said I'm not going to send him back out there like this, and the trainers started talking about it. They wanted to see how he did for a couple days, but he's not going to play anymore. We've told Nishi just to relax."

Nishioka will finish the season with a dismal .226/.278/.249 batting line with only five extra-base hits in 240 plate appearances. He also made 12 errors at shortstop and second base combined in only 66 games.

Nishioka is owed $6 million total through 2013, but the Twins have made it clear that he will compete for a starting job next spring.

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