Published February 22, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Justin Morneau took the field with his Minnesota Twins teammates on Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a concussion in July.
Morneau said he "felt good" after batting practice and playing long toss during an informal workout. But he wasn't about to proclaim himself 100 percent. Morneau said he wanted to wait and see how he felt later in the day, which is usually when the symptoms from his concussion resurface.
"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 a 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."