Twins manager doesn't see Morneau returning this season

There's no doubt the Minnesota Twins adjusted well to not having Justin Morneau(notes) in the lineup after he suffered a concussion in July. In less than two weeks, the chances are good that they'll be hosting two playoff games at Target Field.

But considering what Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said on Friday, the 2010 AL Central champions probably will need to keep on compensating for the loss of their superstar.

When asked during an appearance on ESPN Radio about Morneau's chances of coming back this season, Gardenhire said "I don't see how it can possibly happen for him."

Well, that's a punch in the gut.

"I hope I'm wrong ... I'm hoping all of the sudden he joins us somewhere," Gardenhire added.

The Twins shouldn't expect a shocking/inspiring Willis Reed-like entrance. The legs are one thing (or two things). This is the brain we're talking about.

This video is a report from Minnesota TV from earlier this season, but it still holds true. Brain injuries — which nobody except the one kid from Jerry Maguire used to care about — are not to be trifled with.

Barely two weeks ago, Morneau seemed optimistic he would be able to return. But he hasn't played since hitting his head while sliding into the knee of Toronto's John McDonald(notes) on July 7. Ever since, dizziness and headaches have persisted.

Though it seems counterintuitive to believe they'd be better without him, the Twins have gone 46-18 since Morneau's injury. He was hitting .345/.437/.1055, with Gold Glove-caliber defense, at the time his season stopped.

The Twins are long overdue to miss Morneau. The playoffs might be less forgiving.

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Big BLS H/N: Aaron Gleeman at Hardball Talk

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