MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s Justin Morneau won’t play again this season because of concussion symptoms and a cyst that needs to be surgically removed.

The first baseman will have the cyst removed from his left knee this week, the Twins announced Sunday.

The decision to shut down Morneau with 12 games remaining in the regular season means the 30-year-old slugger and former American League MVP will have played in only 69 games. Morneau, who missed two months of the season because of neck surgery, hit .227 with four homers and 30 RBIs. All are career lows.

“Our plan is to take care of the orthopedic problems that he has and hopefully get him healthy as soon as possible,” said Rick McWane, Minnesota’s head athletic trainer.

Morneau, along with other players suffering from the flu, was not at Target Field on Sunday.

This is the second consecutive season in which Morneau missed much of the season. Morneau was limited to 81 games in 2010 after suffering a concussion shortly before the All-Star Break.

On Friday, Minnesota announced Joe Mauer will miss two weeks — likely the rest of the season — after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

If Mauer doesn’t play again this season, the Minnesota duo will combine to play only 151 games this season. With those two — who are making a combined $37 million this season — missing much of the season, the Twins have gone from AL Central champions to owning the worst record in the American League.

“Hopefully we’ll have a healthy year next year and we get it all out of our system,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We left spring training the healthiest team in baseball, we had no one on the DL, the whole package. The season started and we got all beat up.”

Because Morneau won’t play during September, Gardenhire acknowledged his status for 2012 will be unknown through spring training.

Gardenhire realizes a lingering question will be whether Morneau can remain Minnesota’s everyday first baseman.

“Is Morneau going to be healthy enough to play there? Is he going to be a DH?” Gardenhire said. “Those are things that I have to talk to Justin about and see what’s best for him to keep him on the field. There’s a lot up in the air this winter.”

Gardenhire is glad Morneau will have surgery soon, allowing ample time to recover. He hopes other Twins will follow that lead. Mauer didn’t have knee surgery until December and was not 100 percent when he arrived at spring training. Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young also were limited in the spring.

“That will be the message,” Gardenhire said. “If you have something, tell them now. Get it done now.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. anti bachmann says:

    what a baby get rid of him

  2. duds says:

    only after you unload Maurer’s contract.
    Funny how all the Twink dreamers were all over the signing of these guys and Nathan and now ….. fair weather loser fans in MN …. they never change.
    and I said no no no no no from day 1 to $$$ andf stadium. stupid

    1. Youdon'tmatter says:

      So you didn’t want the stadium, why you here stating an opinion, it cost you very little, just sit there in your apartment and live your boring meaningless life peasant.

  3. @ lil' Youdon'tmatter says:

    I didn’t support any damn stadium either and wonder why you find your petty life to be better than others/
    i spent the 82 days you fools wasted money on camping, fishing, hunting and enjoying life beyond the feeble attempts at playing a game by these obscenely overpaid wusses who can’t manage to play.
    You defend ’em all you want – when the boys and gals can carry 80# of gear in 120 degree heat overseas and do it 24x7x365 ….. makes me wonder what kind of women boys play sports today. Even moreso – twhat kind of wuss needs others to pay for their pleasures of a stadium to please the girlymen out there. lol

  4. Alistair Charleston says:

    Minnesota Sports Fans are Turdgobbling Crybabies!! Ohh woe’s you, all your teams are rubbish and so are you. You cry worse than your bloody athletes. Also you all are fair-weather fans and lack character and fortitude…

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