Justin Morneau was having a great year. An MVP-type year. He played exactly half a season (81 games) and was hitting .345 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI.
Then on July 7, he was hit in the head by the knee of Toronto's John McDonald on a play at second base, where such collisions happen all the time. But this one caused a concussion. And after Morneau felt those symptoms, it was decided that he wouldn't play in the All-Star game, as he was elected a starter by the fans. He'd be back after the break.
Almost two months later, Morneau is no closer to returning to play first base for the first-place Minnesota Twins. He's still feeling those symptoms.
"He's following the doctor's orders," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "That's all I'm officially supposed to tell you, and unofficially, that's what I'm going to tell you."
Concussions are typically a bigger issue in other sports, especially football. And it's an especially frustrating injury, because physically, you're itching to play.
"I know him well enough to know that this is absolutely killing him,'' said former teammate Corey Koskie, whose career ended because of a concussion suffered in 2006, to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. "And I'm sure Jason Bay is the same way. You want to be out there and you want to be playing, and it sucks when you can't play. You tell yourself, 'It's just my head. Why can't I get over this?' You're looking for answers. 'Somebody tell me when I can play again.' It's a tough deal. It's something you don't wish on your worst enemy.''
The Twins lead the AL Central by 3.5 games over the White Sox. And they probably shouldn't count on having their best power bat down the stretch.