Morneau receives cortisone shot for neck; Young's MRI negative
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MINNEAPOLIS -- To go along with a lingering flu bug, Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau -- sidelined for a sixth consecutive game Friday -- also received a cortisone shot in his neck to relieve vertebrae inflammation, manager Ron Gardenhire said.
"He had a neck issue before he even got sick, where he was having a stiff neck -- something that he's dealt with in the past, and he's had this before," Gardenhire said. "It was just a little shot to kind of get rid of some inflammation."
Cortisone shots generally require one day of rest, but Gardenhire added that Morneau was "not going to play anyway" Friday, due to the lingering flu bug. It is possible Morneau could be available to pinch hit, at the very least, on Saturday.
"I think Morneau's going to be back here real soon," Gardenhire said. "(Saturday) or the next day, I think he'll be able to play. He's got a little better look on his face today than he had. He doesn't feel great today, but I think he's starting to hold down fluid, and so is Joe (Mauer), and that's a big key when they start (being) able to eat and keep stuff in their stomach."
"The scary part is how long after this much of a flu, how much can you get out of them? ... I don't have an answer for that right now. As I told (general manager Bill Smith), we can't sit around here much longer like this. Just can't play like this. Got to make some decisions here. I have to give Morneau another day and see what happens, and the same thing with Delmon (Young)."
An MRI for Young showed no significant damage to his sore ribs, but if he's unable to play by Saturday or Sunday, Gardenhire said the team will likely place the outfielder on the disabled list to open up a roster spot.
Mauer remains on the disabled list until at least April 28 with bilateral leg weakness, flu symptoms and other soreness. He continues to work out and do pool exercises, "but he's obviously still weak," Gardenhire said, "along with Morneau. Both of them."
"And it's just a process of first you get over the flu and the viral infection, and then you start back to the baseball part of it. So there's not a lot we can do there, just kind of wait and see.
"When it started, his body was sore all over, from the knee to the shoulder to the elbow, and it was all thought to be caused by trying to compensate for some weakness in his leg. But we found out a viral infection probably started a lot of it, and you go from there. I'm not a doctor, and I can only go by what's said. We have to let him get over this viral flu bug, and then we see where he's at and what his body feels like. And we're almost there. He's still not quite there, but we're almost there. Then we can get him back to the baseball side of it and get him checked out from the parts that are aching the most."