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Updated: February 22nd, 2012 8:20am
MRI shows no damage for Hughes; 'I understand what's going on here'

MRI shows no damage for Hughes; 'I understand what's going on here'

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Minnesota Twins infielder Luke Hughes received good news on Wednesday morning when a second opinion of an MRI showed no structural damage to his strained right shoulder.

Hughes injured the shoulder in the Australian Winter League earlier this month, and he's been limited to taking groundballs -- no throwing, no swinging -- for the first few days in Fort Myers.

Prior to Wednesday's position player workouts -- non-mandatory until Friday -- Hughes said he hopes to start doing baseball activities by next week, adding that he might receive a cortisone shot in his shoulder to help expedite the process.

The next six weeks are almost certainly make-or-break for Hughes' future in a Twins uniform. Hughes is out of minor league options, and the Twins have a handful of infielders competing for spots on the 25-man roster -- Jamey Carroll and Alexi Casilla are locks, with Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Twins' minor league player of the year Brian Dozier in the mix as well.

"I understand what's going on here," said Hughes, who turned 27 last August. "I've been in this organization for 10 years. This is all I know as a player."

Hughes was devastated when he was told at the end of last March that his team-leading six spring home runs were not enough to earn him a 25-man roster spot. He eventually received his call-up on April 8 and went on to hit .223/.289/.338 with seven home runs in 317 plate appearances.

In 484 career Triple-A at-bats Hughes owns a .257/.319/.440 line with 14 home runs and 29 doubles.

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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