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Thome out of lineup with shoulder issue

May 28, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS — Inflammation in his left shoulder kept Twins designated hitter Jim Thome out of the lineup Saturday, but he hoped it would only keep him out for one game.

Thome pinch hit in the ninth Saturday for catcher Rene Rivera, striking out on seven pitches. He was scheduled to get a cortisone shot after the game.

He said it was an issue that has been bothering him for some time, and it just got a little worse this weekend.

“We want to stay on top of it before it gets worse,” Thome said. “That’s the main thing, I don’t want to let the thing go and then let it get worse.”

Both Thome and head trainer Rick McWane said he could be back in the lineup by Sunday. Thome left Friday’s game after drawing a walk in the bottom of the seventh, but he confirmed that it was only for a pinch runner and had nothing to do with his shoulder.

Thome said the injury affects him toward the back end of his swing, and it’s not anything he’s ever dealt with in the past.

“When I get here and then I roll over, I get it in the back on that bottom rotation,” Thome said while demonstrating a swing in front of his locker. “It’s got to be from my swing because it’s my left shoulder and I don’t throw a baseball [any] more. So it’s just from probably years of a little wear and tear.”

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