Mauer doesn't need surgery on left knee

Mauer doesn't need surgery on left knee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer will not need to have surgery on his left knee, Twins general manager Bill Smith confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Mauer, who was bothered by what was described as inflammation in his left knee over the final few weeks of the season, had the injury checked out by doctors, and the decision was made to treat the injury with "rest and rehab," Smith wrote in an e-mail.

The Twins' All-Star catcher dealt with a number of injuries throughout the 2010 season, including a sore right shoulder and a deep bone bruise on his left heel in addition to the sore left knee which forced him to miss nine games in late September. Those various injuries had an impact on Mauer's production in 2010, although he still batted .327 with nine home runs and 75 RBIs in 137 games.

Mauer is just one of several Twins players who have had their nagging injuries looked at since the season ended when they were swept by the Yankees in the American League Division Series earlier this month.

Michael Cuddyer had arthroscopic surgery to clean up his right knee, while pitchers Scott Baker and Nick Blackburn had procedures to clean up their right elbows. Smith said Thursday that outfielder Jason Repko also had a cleanup surgery on his left thumb, but all of the players who have undergone surgeries are expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Smith also provided an update on closer Joe Nathan, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow that he underwent last March. Nathan is continuing with his throwing program, and Smith said the expectation is that Nathan will begin throwing off a mound in December.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.