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

Updated: June 26, 2007, 12:11 AM ET
Associated Press

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


2007 Season Stats
71 20 57 50 .354 .278

"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.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press