Fresh off of a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels, the Minnesota Twins moved five games ahead of the Chicago White Sox.

The Twins are a Major League-best 26-10 since the All-Star break and everything has come together for Minnesota of late. Yet there is someone missing from the Twins lineup.

His name is Justin Morneau.

The former MVP is hitting .345, with 18 home runs, and 56 RBI in just 81 games. Morneau hasn’t played since July 7, when he slid into second base and was kneed in the head against the Toronto Blue Jays.

What once seemed as a painful collision has turned into something much more.

No longer is it certain that Morneau will make it back into the Twins lineup this season and dare I say ever again?

Concussions are a tricky thing and everybody responds differently, but former Twin Corey Koskie saw his career cut short due to a concussion. 

It would be a shame if the same were to happen to one of baseball’s elite players.

Assuming Morneau will make it back this season could be wishful thinking at this point. Ron Gardenhire refuses to put a timetable on the slugger’s recovery, which is far from a positive sign.

It could also be a way of keeping the pressure off of Morneau and letting him recover at his own rate instead of rushing things to get him back on the diamond.

Minnesota lost Morneau to a back injury late last season as they went on a run to overcome the Detroit Tigers in Game 163.

The Twins were promptly swept by the New York Yankees and many were left to wonder if things would have been different if Morneau would have been healthy.

For the second straight season, the baseball world may not find out.

The good news for the Twins is that they appear to have the AL Central in control unlike last season, and for the first time in two years, it looks like they won’t need a Game 163 to decide whether or not they will be playing in the postseason.

With that being said, another division championship won’t suffice for the Twins. Morneau or no Morneau, a first-round exit isn’t acceptable for Minnesota.

Michael Cuddyer has been able to fill in admirably at first base for the second straight season, but when the playoffs came around last year, the Twins needed their star slugger.

If the Twins are going to get Morneau back this season, they are going to need him to be symptom-free for a few days before he embarks on a minor league rehab assignment.

It’s been well over a month and Morneau is still experiencing “fogginess” at the end of the day.

Minnesota has been in no rush to get him back on the field, which shows the organization is looking out for the player’s health first, but also that the concussion is much more serious than being let on.

Not only does Morneau’s concussion hurt this year’s team’s chances of making a deep playoff run, but if he is unable to come back 100 percent next season or at all, the Twins lose a franchise player they have built around.

No matter how you slice it, Morneau’s injury truly is one big headache for the Minnesota Twins. 

Read more MLB news on