Mauer returns to DL with sore knee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer was placed
on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a sore left knee, the touted rookie's second trip to the DL.

The move was made retroactive to Friday, meaning Mauer is
eligible to be activated on July 31. Catcher Rob Bowen was recalled
from Double-A New Britain to take Mauer's place.

The first pick in the 2001 draft, Mauer tore medial meniscus
cartilage in the second game of the season and had arthroscopic
surgery that kept him out seven weeks.

That didn't affect his performance -- he was batting .308 with
six homers and 17 RBI in 107 at-bats and recently moved into the
No. 3 spot in the lineup.

But Mauer developed soreness and swelling before the All-Star
break, when a planned change was made in his medication that helps
cartilage growth. An MRI revealed some inflammation, and Mauer was
unable to catch in a weekend series against Kansas City. He had one
at-bat Thursday against the Royals.

Team spokesman Mike Herman said Mauer has returned to the Twin
Cities for rest and therapy.

In 61 games with the Rock Cats, Bowen has a .188 average with
seven homers, 18 RBI and 64 strikeouts in 202 at-bats. Henry
Blanco and Matthew LeCroy will handle most of the catching duties
in Mauer's absence.