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Updated: June 11th, 2011 1:09pm
Morneau out until at least Tuesday; Mauer to remain in Florida for now

Morneau out until at least Tuesday; Mauer to remain in Florida for now

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau was not in Saturday's lineup against the Texas Rangers for the second consecutive game, and manager Ron Gardenhire said the former AL MVP will sit until at least Tuesday to rest his ailing left wrist.

Morneau will visit with hand specialist Dr. Thomas Varecka this weekend -- likely Saturday -- to determine if there are any underlying problems with the wrist. An MRI last week showed no structural damage, only fluid build-up.

"He was kind of shaking his head a little bit when I told him what my plan was, but I've watched him swing and I've watched him [swing] one-handed and he's playing with pain," Gardenhire said.

Gardenhire added, "It makes no sense to put him back into the lineup until a doctor sees all of the information so he can put him on the right path.

"He'll be out (Saturday) and (Sunday) and then we have a day off on Monday, but by Tuesday I think he'll regroup so this is a good time for him whether he likes it or not."

Morneau is hitting just .225/.281/.338 on the season with four home runs and 21 RBIs. He has also been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck since spring training.

Mauer to remain in Fort Myers until midweek

Meanwhile, catcher Joe Mauer, who hit a three-run homer on Friday night while catching his third straight game for Single-A Fort Myers, will remain in Florida until at least Tuesday or Wednesday.

Gardenhire said Mauer will definitely catch Sunday and Monday, and it's possible he will catch Tuesday as well when the Miracle travel to Jupiter. And because right-hander Joe Nathan traveled to Fort Myers on Saturday to begin rehabbing his tender elbow, it's likely Mauer will take swings off him as well.

The Twins and Mauer have been trying to decide if the three-time batting champ should join up with Triple-A Rochester prior to returning to the big leagues in order to see better pitching. Facing Nathan could accomplish that.

"See a major league pitcher," Gardenhire said, "and Nathan wants to throw to some live hitters. ...

"Wednesday (Mauer) is definitely going to take some live BP off Joe Nathan for sure. He wants to do that."

The Twins host the Chicago White Sox for a three-game series Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a three-game interleague series with the San Diego Padres beginning Friday.

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