Morneau said Thursday morning he "tweaked" his back on the first swing of his last at-bat Tuesday night at Detroit. The 2006 AL MVP insisted the injury is unrelated to the back ailment that led to him missing the final few weeks of last season.
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said Morneau wouldn't swing a bat Thursday, but would take some cuts during an early batting practice in Cleveland before the series opener Friday night.
Gardenhire kept catcher Joe Mauer out of the lineup against the Tigers to rest his legs, but used him as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and he struck out. Gardenhire didn't start shortstop J.J. Hardy because of a toe injury.