Sep 24, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT
Justin Morneau hasn’t played since suffering a concussion from a knee to the helmet on July 7 and this afternoon manager Ron Gardenhire finally admitted that the Twins don’t expect him back in the lineup this season.
Appearing on 1500-ESPN with hosts Patrick Reusse and Phil Mackey, Gardenhire replied “I don’t see how it can possibly happen for him” when asked about Morneau returning for the end of the regular season or even the playoffs.
He also added “I hope I’m wrong” but given the lack of progress Morneau has made while sitting out the past three months his return has been viewed as a longshot for quite a while now.
Minnesota has thrived since Morneau went down, going 47-21 for the best record in the American League, which is amazing given that Morneau was hitting .345/.437/.618 and ranked second among AL hitters in OPS at the time of the concussion.
Adding his bat to a lineup that ranks fourth in the league in scoring would obviously be a huge boost and even having Morneau available as a bat off the bench would’ve been plenty useful in the playoffs, but unfortunately it sounds like that won’t happen. Morneau is another sad reminder of how unpredictable and scary concussions can be, and at this point there have to be serious questions about his status for 2011 and beyond.
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