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Justin Morneau receives cortisone shot for stiff neck

Apr 22, 2011, 7:36 PM EDT

Justin Morneau AP

Justin Morneau is out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight game this evening. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com that while Morneau is still getting over the flu, he also needed a cortisone shot today to relieve vertebrae inflammation in his neck.

“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.”

The good news is that the neck issue has absolutely nothing to do with his previous post-concussion symptoms. Gardenhire said Morneau was “not going to play anyway” Friday because of the flu, but thinks he could be available to pinch-hit as soon as tomorrow.

“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 Twins have been playing with a two-man bench over the past three days — as Delmon Young is also sidelined due to the flu and a rib injury — so they can’t afford to go short-handed much longer.

Morneau was batting .208 (11-for-53) with zero homers, five doubles and three RBI before coming down with the flu.

  1. bigtrav425 - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    i fought for the longest time whether to keep him or Matt Cain in my last spot of my keeper league and i kept Justin..So far looking not so good

  2. itsacurse - Apr 23, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    So this neck inflammation had nothing to do with the flu, which is the same flu Mauer has, who also has bilateral leg weakness from some mysterious lower spinal inflammation? This all seems very suspicious to me.

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