Morneau spoke to reporters today at the Twins Spring Training complex in Fort Myers and, while attempting to say All the Right Things, hinted that he potentially sees the end of his career in the not-so-distant future.
Next step for all of us: Watching Morneau take BP and work in the field today. Interestingly, will face at least 1 lefty in live BP.
— Jim Souhan (@SouhanStrib) February 24, 2012
All is not lost for Morneau quite yet but the native of Ulan Baatar seems realistic about his chances of making a full recovery. As he told Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis StarTribune:
“ Well, I don’t think there will be a career if it’s something I’m dealing with,’’ he said. “That’s the reality of the whole thing. I’m obviously not going to continue to mess around with this if it continues to be a problem. There comes a point where you can only torture yourself for so long. (Emphasis mine, heartbreak at your leisure.)
Morneau notes he leans heavily on his wife as well as fellow Canadian concussion-sufferer Corey Koskie.
Koskie, as you might remember, saw his career evaporate after a series of head injuries and lingering symptoms ended his career at just 33 years-old. Souhan hints that the way Koskie’s health declined scares Morneau quite a bit.
When asked how long he was symptom-free, Morneau was slightly evasive while trying his hardest to be positive.
“Everything has been pretty good since January, I’d say. Somewhere in there. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. There’s times Where I won’t feel that good and wake up the next day and feel fine, just knowing it may have been a little extra fatigue or I did too much that day or whatever it is. I can’t really remember the last time that was. So it has been good for awhile.’
With any serious head injury, the fate of the team falls a distant second to the thought of a 31 year-old man suffering crippling pain and anxiety for the rest of his life. That Morneau is Canadian shouldn’t make us root for him any more. Concussions aren’t epidemic in baseball as in other major sports but that doesn’t make their impact any less frightening. We can only hope Morneau gets the best advice and is able to make the soundest decisions with all the information at hand.
If Justin Morneau is unable to continue playing baseball, hopefully he enters the next stage of his life knowing he did the right thing for his future and his family.
If he does return to the baseball, hopefully he gets traded away from the Twins because they are just the worst.