Joe Mauer Still Weeks From Returning to Twins

It was good to hear that Joe Mauer was not only being sent to Florida, but would be appearing in extended spring training games. A light at the end of the tunnel, you could say. Or at the very least, it's a step in the right direction.

Over the last day or so sources have been very quick to point out that, in spite of his move to sunny Florida to continue rehab, there is still no date that the Twins are shooting for in terms of availability. Or rather there is a date, but nobody is going to tell us what it is.

I meant to post this yesterday (from Tweets I'd seen the day before) but life got in the way, so here are a couple of twitters from Phil Mackey.

Mackeytweet1_medium

Not to go all conspiracy theorist here, but: why? Okay, one more.

Mackeytweet2_medium

Thanks to journalists just "firing it through the internet", we now know that this is a minimum for these activities. The Twins getting back a full-blown Mauer is even further away. One source I spoke to said they wouldn't be surprised if it was two more months.

I think that's a bit on the pessimistic side, but we'll talk more about this Mauer fiasco after the jump.

Apparently bi-lateral leg weakness really is a real thing, which none of us would have known about unless it had already happened to us. Leo3375 outlined it pretty well. But I think there are a lot of people who aren't entirely sure what happened to Mauer all the way back in April. Again, I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist, but when the team says they have a plan but don't want to tell us what it is it certainly lends conspiracy theories a hand.

Here's just what I've heard so far.

  • Mauer was just really, really sick.
  • He actually had bi-lateral leg weakness, but there was "more to it than that".
  • Mauer didn't work out this off-season; or at least not enough.
  • There was a prior issue, unknown, which hadn't been addressed.
  • Mauer hasn't been paid a bonus of a few million dollars for one thing or another.
  • Mauer has been kidnapped, and the Twins are currently getting one of his brothers to stand in for him, because the state of Minnesota just couldn't take knowing that he's gone.
  • Mauer's just lazy.
  • Mauer has been fooling everyone all along, and he's just really a dick.
  • Mauer was on drugs, which is how he lost all the weight, and he's had to go through rehab.

I'm not sure what to believe. A couple of the things above probably make some sense (parts of one through four), but the public has been given very little information outside of token lip service as to what's happened and what Joe's progression has been. At some point, we'll have to get some answers.

Part of this makes me nervous. When you look at the lack of information that's been made available on his stint on the disabled list, how long it took them to clear him for activities, and the fact that they're not making a return date public knowledge, it leads me to think that A) they never did really know what was going on, or B) it was so serious that it would have done the Twins, Mauer and the public more harm than good if word got out.

As a whole, Twins fans have been pretty reserved and understanding of the Mauer injury. Perhaps this is because others, like me, are tired of guessing. Or maybe some of us are thinking the worst and just don't want to hear it. Maybe the season has already worn thin. For whatever reason, the shroud around Joe's injury is getting far less attention than the shroud around the Kevin Slowey situation.

Maybe, just maybe, that speaks more about the player and his attitude than anything else.

But that's just guesswork, too.

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