Morneau opts out of batting practice Sunday

Morneau opts out of batting practice Sunday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Morneau planned on taking another big step in his recovery process from a concussion on Sunday, when he was scheduled to take batting practice, but he opted out of the drill at the last minute.

Manager Ron Gardenhire ensured that there was no setback in how Morneau was feeling, but rather he simply decided to hold off the batting practice until the Twins leave for Tampa Bay this week.

"He decided to go ahead and hit in the cage and do some running and throwing out on the field," Gardenhire said. "He said he'd rather just wait until we're gone to hit on the field."

Morneau's decision to forego BP came in part because of the Family Day that was scheduled at Target Field prior to Sunday's 4-0 win over the Mariners. With his teammates and their families planning on being present on the field that afternoon, Gardenhire said Morneau felt there would be too many people there and he'd rather just wait for a quieter atmosphere.

"I think that's a little less people around and he wants to ease into it," Gardenhire said. "With Family Day and all the family out there, he didn't want to be on center stage. But he got his work in and he feels good."

Morneau remained in the dugout and watched the series finale with his teammates. It was the first time Morneau was in the dugout since taking an accidental knee to the head during a slide into second base in a game in Toronto on July 7. For the past three weeks, he's been going through his workout and then returning home to watch the game on TV.

"That's kind of what you hope for," Gardenhire said. "It's step by step and I think he's progressing really well."

Morneau will stay in Minneapolis to continue his workouts when the Twins depart on their 11-day road trip. While he's continued to make slow progress in his recovery, a return date is still unknown.