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Mauer back at it after resting neck

Sore neck can't keep Mauer out

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire walked back and forth through the clubhouse numerous times on Wednesday morning, trying to find out if Joe Mauer's stiff neck had improved enough for the catcher to play.

Mauer had sat out Tuesday night's game with the neck issue. And his unknown status for Wednesday's game left the Twins without a lineup until about an hour before game time.

When the lineup was finally posted, Mauer was indeed behind the plate.

"He's still sore in the neck, but he said he's OK to play," Gardenhire said.

Mauer got to the ballpark early on Wednesday morning to get treatment on his neck. He then went to the batting cage to take a few swings. Afterward, he informed Gardenhire that he was ready to go.

"He said he's OK to play," Gardenhire said. "I let him tell me."

Although Mauer said he's been dealing with the sore neck for a few days now, Gardenhire said he doesn't think the issue will linger. The Twins have an off-day on Thursday, which will give Mauer an opportunity to rest the sore neck.

"I'm not worried, it's just a stiff neck," Gardenhire said. "Yesterday was not good, but this morning it was better."

After Wednesday's 4-2 victory, Mauer said that his neck was feeling fine. He expects to get treatment on it during Thursday's off-day and said he'll be back in the lineup again on Friday.

"It feels good after a win," Mauer said. "I should be fine."

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

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