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Justin Morneau to start swinging a bat the first of February

Jan 24, 2011, 10:39 AM EDT

Justin Morneau

The characterization of Justin Morneau‘s status hasn’t changed:  a couple of weeks ago Bill Smith said the team as “optimistic” about him, and yesterday he said the same thing.  But there is reason to be a little more optimistic today than we were before, because Smith now says that Morneau should be swinging a bat by the first of February.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into this, but earlier assessments had the optimism being about going to work by the time spring training rolls around. If he’s swinging a bat two weeks before pitchers and catchers report, however, perhaps he’ll he’ll be at or near full speed by then as opposed to merely present and accounted for.

This might just be splitting hairs, but there are few teams with as unsettled a situation with an important piece as the Twins are with Morneau, so a little word-parsing is justified.


  1. BC - Jan 24, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Something just doesn’t seem right here. Hopefully I’m wrong.

  2. JB (the original) - Jan 24, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Well, you have to remember (or perhaps you didn’t know), Morneau grew up in Canada playing hockey full time and has admitted to having had his “clock rung” on numerous occasions as he was growing up. With concussions, it’s sort of like frost bite–once you get it, it’s easier to recur, and longer to recover from. If you go back and look at the slide that Morneau was injured on, it really wasn’t a huge, direct blow to the head or anything, more a glancing blow as he was already sliding to a stop at 2B. To see the extent that that hit affected Morneau and the severity of the injury/symptoms he had, kind of makes you wonder just how many hits he took to the melon in hockey, I mean he could be getting pretty close to that “permanent damage” stage, and as such, are taking extreme caution.

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