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Updated: April 16th, 2010 5:30pm
Nick Punto out a couple days; Pat Neshek could go on DL

Nick Punto out a couple days; Pat Neshek could go on DL

by Tom Pelissero
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Nick Punto will miss at least a couple of days with a sore groin, and reliever Pat Neshek could be headed for the disabled list with his sore finger.

That's the word out of manager Ron Gardenhire's pregame media session as the Minnesota Twins prepare to face the Kansas City Royals in tonight's series opener.

Punto apparently was injured in Thursday's game. Gardenhire described the injury as "kind of a day-to-day thing."

"It's not bad," Gardenhire said, "but it's the groin area, and that takes a while."

Brendan Harris will take over at third base and in the No. 9 spot in the batting order.

Neshek has been dealing with the finger for some time, but it only got bad enough on Thursday for Gardenhire to rule him out.

"He's taking some medicine, and we'll see how that does," Gardenhire said. "If it doesn't go away here probably by tomorrow, we might have to do something, so we'll see. But right now it's not good. His finger feels the same way it did (Thursday). ... If it's about the same (Saturday), then obviously it's going to be another three or four more days. We can't sit around then and wait that long."

The bullpen is additionally short-handed tonight because left-hander Jose Mijares has elbow tightness and won't pitch. 

In the eighth inning on Thursday, Mijares loaded the bases, throwing only 10 strikes in 21 pitches, before escaping the jam on a double play.

"He's not finishing pitches off, and the ball goes flying out of the strike zone too many times right now," Gardenhire said. "He's got a little sore elbow right now, he's a little stiff from (Thursday), so we'll give him a day here and see where we're at in the next couple of days."

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