Gardenhire says Morneau could return to lineup in 'a couple days here'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire does
not expect reigning AL MVP Justin Morneau's bruised lung to require
a stint on the disabled list.

Justin Morneau


First Base
Minnesota Twins


"That's never been talked about," Gardenhire said Monday
before the Twins played the Toronto Blue Jays. "I've been told a
couple days here."

Morneau was released from a Miami-area hospital Monday and
headed home. Gardenhire wasn't sure whether Morneau planned on
coming to the ballpark.

Morneau bruised his right lung Friday in a collision with
Florida Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo. He spent two days in the
hospital and was unable to accompany the team back from Miami on
Sunday night, but Gardenhire said has been hearing positive news.

"Everything checked out fine," Gardenhire said. "Now it's
going to depend on how sore he is and when he can get out in the
field. As long as it continues on the path he's on, it's fine."

The Twins plan to run some tests on Morneau on Tuesday, just to
see how his body reacted to the flight back from Florida. The
manager said Morneau, who leads the team with 20 home runs this
season, could return as early as Wednesday or Thursday "if he
feels up to it."

The injury ended Morneau's streak of 191 consecutive games
played. Jeff Cirillo was again at first base in Morneau's place on
Monday night, two games after going 4-for-5 with two RBIs in
Morneau's first game out.