While the Twins were missing Morneau's offense in Monday's shutout loss to the White Sox, the first baseman was working with trainer Rick McWane, taking a series of precautionary concussion tests after complaining of a headache. While the data came back mostly normal, McWane said the tests weren't entirely conclusive one way or the other.
"The test is broken down into a series of mini tests, testing different areas, and one of his tests came back with what the doctor described 'mildly below baseline,'" McWane said. "For the most part, the rest of the test looked good. So if you have to put a diagnosis on it, you can say he has mild concussion symptoms."
Given Morneau's history with concussions, which caused him to miss the entire second half of the 2010 season, the team is obviously watching this situation very carefully. Morneau will miss at least the rest of the series with the White Sox and will be tested again Wednesday or Thursday to monitor his progress.
"I'm sure it makes him nervous, but it's something that he's had to really deal with for a long time," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's something we don't take very lightly around here. We'll be really careful with this situation."
Morneau just came off the disabled list on Aug. 10 after missing two months due to a pinched nerve in his neck that required surgery. The headache and shoulder discomfort this time around, though, both stem from the second-inning play in Sunday's game, when Morneau made a diving attempt on Alex Avila's hit down the line. As he hit the ground, Morneau said his body just stopped instead of sliding, jarring both his shoulder and head.
He remained in the game and made a diving tag on a game-ending double play in the ninth inning, but he said he rolled through that dive and didn't experience any pain on that particular play.
"That's the only way I know how to play. I can't really look at that game and say I'd do anything differently," Morneau said. "I'm going to dive for that ball every time. It's just one of those plays that's just a reaction. If you're out there thinking, 'I'm going to dive' and then you try to stop yourself, you probably shouldn't be playing this game."
For now, the plan is to just rest Morneau for a couple of games and hope the headache completely subsides. The possibility of another stint on the disabled list hasn't been discussed at this point, and Morneau is planning on traveling with the team to Anaheim for its series with the Angels that starts on Friday.
"If it happens again, obviously we're going to have to look at it more," Morneau said. "But, right now, it just looks like it will only be a couple of days and I'll go back out there. We're just being cautious, which is good."