Morneau ‘making progress’ with recovery

Don’t rule out the possibility that Justin Morneau will play in the postseason.

Minnesota Twins general manager Bill Smith said Friday that the All-Star first baseman is “making progress” in his recovery from a July concussion.

“He’s making good progress, but he’s not ready to play in a major-league game,” Smith said before the Twins opened a weekend series in Detroit.

Smith declined to specify Morneau’s current activity level. But when asked if there is a chance that Morneau will appear in the playoffs, the GM said, “I hope so.”

However, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t sound too optimistic about Morneau’s chances of returning this year. “We don’t have much time here,” Gardenhire said Friday. “(His wife) had a baby. If he can get back, I would love it. But it’s getting to the point where I don’t know how you can do it. He hasn’t done a lot of baseball activities.

“We’ll give him every benefit of the doubt, but, still, there’s not many days left here. … We’re getting to that point, whether it’s already passed or shortly coming. We just want him to be well for spring training next year.”

Morneau was performing at an MVP level when he sustained the injury: a .345 batting average, 18 home runs and 56 RBIs in 81 games. He hasn’t appeared in a game since July 7.

Since the minor-league season is over, Morneau may need to spend time in the Twins’ fall instructional league in order to get the necessary at-bats if he is to return. “When we get to that point, we’ll figure it out,” Smith said.