Twins slugger Morneau out of playoffs with concussion

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Slugging first baseman Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins will miss the entire post-season as he recovers from a mid-season concussion, the American League team announced on Monday.

Central Division champion Twins, who open a best-of-five playoff series against the visiting New York Yankees on Wednesday, had already ruled Morneau out of the Division Series but had hoped he might be able to return if they advanced.

The 29-year-old Morneau, a four-time All-Star, has not played since.

"We are going to shut him down for the post-season and just take away that question mark," Twins general manager Bill Smith said.

Morneau was Minnesota's chief power threat, hitting 18 home runs in their spacious new ball park in 81 games, with 56 runs batted in while hitting at a blistering .345 mark.

In 2006, the Canadian won MVP honors by belting 34 homers, driving in 130 runs and batting at a .321 clip.

"It's not a setback," Smith added. "I think Justin has continued to make great progress, but we are going to turn all of our attention to getting him ready to play for spring training."

(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Julian Linden)