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Joe Nathan makes it 'all the way back'

After spending a full season rehabbing, Twins closer returns to the heat of the action

Originally Published: April 6, 2011
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine

NEW YORK -- Joe Nathan was struggling so badly in his first appearance of the season, with the game on the line Sunday in Toronto, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire looked at pitching coach Rick Anderson several times, wondering what to do. Left-hander Dusty Hughes was ready in the bullpen, and when Nathan's pitch count reached 30, Gardenhire was prepared to make a move with left-handed hitting Adam Lind at the plate. A day later, Gardenhire said, "I just couldn't do it. Not after he worked so hard ...

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