Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer provided enough encouraging signs during his workout Thursday that general manager Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire remain optimistic he will play again this season after a concussion.
"I’m holding out hope, as you know, that we ultimately can get him back on the field, so we’re working toward that," Ryan said before the club opened a four-game series at Oakland.
After Mauer spent three days at home, he returned to the ballpark to do some cardio exercise and leg work. He hasn’t resumed baseball activities, but that could come soon.
Mauer is no longer experiencing headaches or other concussion symptoms, Ryan said. The GM hadn’t spoken to Mauer, but was in touch with the training staff.
Ryan said keeping Mauer at home for a few days seems to have proved the right move considering his session Thursday. While Ryan didn’t have specifics on how long Mauer was able to exercise, he believed it was more than last time.
"So there’s some positive news on that," Ryan said. "Slowly and surely he’s getting better and today was one of the better days. He’ll be back at the stadium tomorrow. We’ll take him when we can get him. He didn’t do any baseball activity but he did some of the leg work and that type of stuff. That’s better than I’ve been telling you. He’s making some progress."
Mauer took a foul ball in the mask on Aug. 19. Mauer hasn’t had an IMPACT concussion test for about a week, but he is expected to re-join the team Monday back in Minneapolis if all continues to progress.
"It’s exciting," Gardenhire said. "I’m just hoping Joe gets on the baseball field. Nice to hear him feeling better. We were at home and he definitely wasn’t feeling good when we left. He went through some good times and we knew there were going to be some steps backward. Just to hear when he has a couple of good days in a row is a good thing. We’ll just see when we get home, we’ll get through this road trip. Whatever happens, happens. As long as he can come to the ballpark and hang out, that would be good enough for us. Hopefully he’ll get on the field, but the big thing here is his health. Just get him healthy, that’s all we’re after."