By Matt Snyder
After Thursday afternoon's win against the White Sox, the Twins officially announced Joe Mauer will come off the disabled list in time for Friday's game. The move was expected, but for it to finally be official has to lift a giant, Target Field-sized weight off the collective chests of Twins fans, players and management.
It almost seemed like the day would never come. Mauer hasn't played for the Minnesota Twins since April 12. We've heard about bilateral leg weakness, a viral infection, shoulder issues and then Mauer himself disputing the term bilateral leg weakness. There was never really a timetable, and he worked through his rehab very slowly, all the while hearing whispers about his toughness.
But he's back now. If he can play anywhere close to the way he played to finish in the top 10 of MVP voting four times -- and winning it once -- the Twins just received a gigantic upgrade. That 8-1/2-game deficit in the AL Central isn't unworkable, either.
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