Twins in holding pattern with injured stars

Twins in holding pattern with injured stars

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Many of the Twins' prominent players have yet to play in a game this spring, including Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young. When asked for updates on those injured players Sunday, manager Ron Gardenhire didn't have any better estimate as to when any of them might see game action.

Mauer didn't catch a bullpen session on Sunday, and it's still unclear when he might be ready. Gardenhire has said that he's not concerned exactly when that might happen with Mauer, who has been continuing to take part in the club's daily workouts despite not catching.

Morneau has also continued to take batting practice and do fielding drills with his teammates, but has yet to be cleared to play in games. As for Young's turf toe, it has not improved, Gardenhire said. Young is battling a little bit of tendinitis in his left big toe and Gardenhire said it's something that the outfielder is going to have to work through.

Gardenhire was then asked if how long before it's critical to get some of these injured players back on the field since the club has a little more than 3 1/2 weeks remaining until Opening Day.

"Not too many people can step out and have a couple weeks of Spring Training and go right into a regular season ready to go," Gardenhire said. "Mauer did it [in 2009]. There are exceptions here, but that's not the norm. You need a Spring Training. You need time, you need at-bats. We'll get there. We still have plenty of time here. But it can't go into the end of the month and then all of a sudden you have a week to go and you say, 'OK, we can do this.' It's not going to happen.

"Is there a cutoff day? Probably. We haven't decided on that yet or figured that out yet. Right now, we are waiting until we can get them all out on the field and in games. It's not there yet."