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Justin Morneau sounds like he's on brink of retirement

Morneau's brain just hasn't been able to overcome a July 2010 concussion.
Morneau's brain just hasn't been able to overcome a July 2010 concussion.

The last year and a half has surely been an extremely frustrating time for Twins first baseman and former MVP Justin Morneau.

In July 2010, Morneau, 30, took a knee to the head while sliding into second base to break up a double play in Toronto. He was concussed, but the impact didn't look severe and most baseball observers expected Morneau to sit out just a game or two and then resume playing at 100 percent.

In the nearly 20 months since, Morneau has played in only 69 games while continuously dealing with post-concussion symptoms and looking like a shell of his former self. And this morning, he suggested more strongly than ever that the end of his career might be near.

Morneau had a brief chat with reporters today after he reported to Twins spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. After a miserable 2011 season plagued by injuries to franchise cornerstones Morneau and Joe Mauer, Twins fans were hoping Justin would say he's symptom-free and ready to return to the slugging days of yore.

Unfortunately, Morneau's comments painted a very discouraging picture.

When asked if he's having concerns about future concussions, here's how Morneau answered:

Well, I don't think there will be a career if it's something I'm dealing with. 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. It's something I love to do but you keep preparing and you keep being left out, that's something that nobody wants to go through.

He suggested he contemplated retirement over the winter, saying, "it's been a tough winter that way." The Star Tribune's Jim Souhan, who is in Florida covering Twins spring training, tweeted that he interpreted Morneau's remarks as meaning the concussion-plagued slugger is on the verge of hanging it up:

If Morneau truly can't get healthy and decides he's had enough of trying to play through an endless post-concussion fog, it'll be a depressing way to conclude a career for a guy who not so long ago looked like he was on the way to becoming one of his generation's all-time greats.


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