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Justin Morneau feeling better, but still not “100 percent” eight months after concussion

Feb 21, 2011, 2:20 PM EDT

John McDonald; Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau arrived at Twins camp today and spoke to reporters about his health status, telling them he’s made significant progress in recent weeks but remains less than 100 percent recovered nearly eight months after suffering a concussion on July 7.

Doctors have cleared Morneau to fully participate in all workouts, but he’s yet to face live pitching and won’t be in the lineup when the Twins’ exhibition schedule begins, saying “we’ll find out over the next week or so” what his timetable is for game action

Morneau explained that the fogginess he felt following workouts has finally dissipated, but added “it’s been a battle all winter” and stressed to 1500ESPN.com that his goal is to be ready for Opening Day:

There was the goal of the playoffs, and there was the goal of all the rest of it, but it’s been a battle all winter. We’ve done everything, I think, possible to try and take care of this thing and be ready, but whenever it’s ready, it’s ready. There might be a day or two when things aren’t perfect, but you’ve got to battle through it and see how it reacts. But we’re hopeful that by April 1 in Toronto that we’ll be on the field.

His recent progress will be framed as a positive step and that’s certainly true to some extent, but until Morneau starts hitting and fielding without restrictions no one really knows much of anything about his status. If he hasn’t been able to put the aftereffects of the concussion behind him after eight months there’s certainly no guarantee that he’ll be ready to do so after nine months, and there are just as many questions about his status for this season right now as there were when the Twins ruled him out for the playoffs in October.

  1. Jonny 5 - Feb 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    I can only assume that he’s not being a sissy about this and he got some real brain damage in that collision. Because Damn, it’s been a long time. I saw a guy get a 3-1/2″ long nail in his head from an air nailer, and he didn’t even know it was there for a few days, got it removed and was working a couple weeks later. Morneau was wearing a helmet and got a knee. But everyone is different I guess…..

    • trevorb06 - Feb 21, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      This isn’t his first concussion. As a kid in Canada he sustained numerous concussions playing hockey. I imagine he had concussions he never had medical attention for either. The brain is a funny thing, its like a Jenga tower. Mess with the wrong piece and you’re pretty effed.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        Hockey will do a number on you for sure. And dent after dent to the brain adds up after awhile. I wasn’t calling him out here, I was just shocked he’s still having issues. But yeah, Hockey and brains don’t mix. I saw that with Eric Lindros, he was flagged from playing. It seems to me head injuries usually get worse, the more you have, the longer they take to heal as well.

      • trevorb06 - Feb 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

        that’s good j5. I usually enjoy your comments but this one left me scratchin thinking you were some a-hole for a second. brain injuries are like my minnesota weather, just unpredictable.

  2. Panda Claus - Feb 21, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    The negative karma is riding in for the Twins today isn’t it? First the “Liriano was not in the best shape of his life” story, and now this.

  3. uyf1950 - Feb 21, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    No job is worth a persons long term health. Something I hope Justin seriously considers before he decides to step on the field for the 2011 season.

  4. BC - Feb 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    This is really NOT GOOD NEWS. He should undergo every test imaginable before setting foot on the field.

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