|ESPN.com: Spring 2011||[Print without images]|
“"It was the first day," Morneau said. "We've got a long ways to go." He was injured on July 7 in Toronto last season while sliding into second base to break up a double play. He missed the remainder of the season. Morneau had been working out at his offseason home in Arizona, but this was the first time the 2006 AL MVP got back on a field with his teammates. He received a nice ovation from the fans when he stepped to the plate for batting practice. "It was nice," he said. "People recognize a little bit how long it's been since I've been out there with my teammates. It was fun." He said he plans to wear sunglasses throughout spring training in hopes of limiting the harmful effects bright sun can have on a person who has had a concussion. He prefers not to wear them in the field, but said he will do whatever it takes to keep the improvement coming. The Twins plan to take it slow with him this spring training. He won't play in the first four or five games and manager Ron Gardenhire said he will participate in all the drills on Wednesday when the Twins hold their first full-squad workout. "That's a good thing to see, to see Justin out there with a smile on his face," Gardenhire said, "and not worried about all the things he's had to worry about for so long." Twins general manager Bill Smith told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark on Monday that while Morneau is "still a work in progress," there are "no issues or restrictions" that should prevent him from being ready by Opening Day. "That's our goal -- April 1, Opening Day," Smith said Monday. "We're just being cautious." While Morneau said Monday he will probably sit out "the first four or five games" of the spring depending on how he feels, Smith told Stark that the team's plan is to hold Morneau out of spring games "for at least the first week or 10 games." "We don't want a roller coaster," Smith told ESPN.com. "We don't want him to have good days and bad days. We want just good days. So there's no timetable. We've pledged patience -- to his agent, to his doctors and to his family. And we're not going to rush this." Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Jayson Stark was used in this report.
It was the first day. We've got a long ways to go.” -- Justin Morneau