Gardenhire couldn't say for certain if there was a chance Morneau would rejoin the Twins for their four-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg, but Morneau hit in the cage "lightly" back in Minneapolis on Monday before calling it a day.
"A little light workout today, then he pretty much shut it down," Gardenhire said. "He wasn't feeling as good today as he did yesterday, but still fine. We'll just go day-to-day with him."
Morneau, on the 15-day disabled list since July 8 after sustaining a concussion in Toronto on July 7, was scheduled to take batting practice with the Twins on Sunday at Target Field but opted out at the last minute, though Gardenhire said it had more to do with the Family Day crowd than any sort of setback.
Morneau also had a light workout Sunday, running and throwing on the field, and he remained in the dugout to watch the game with his teammates for the first time in three weeks -- an encouraging sign that he had made a big step toward a full recovery.
Gardenhire praised the versatility of Michael Cuddyer for helping make the loss of Morneau a little less noticeable from a defensive perspective. Cuddyer made his 27th start at first base this season on Monday night, and he has seen significant time in right field (60 starts) and at third base (13 starts).
"We've been able to move people around," Gardenhire said. "Michael Cuddyer is huge because he's a guy that can go play a lot of different places. That's been the key for us, having some people that can move around and fill in some when you need it, especially like Michael at first who can fill in when Morny's out and so forth."