Morneau hopes to return to play Monday

First baseman has been sidelined since Wednesday by left elbow injury

Morneau hopes to return to play Monday

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rockies defending National League batting champion Justin Morneau hasn't played since Wednesday because of a minor left elbow issue, but he hopes to return to play Monday.

The problem is with his non-throwing elbow, but the left hand is the top hand when he swings. Morneau said he has no concerns about being ready for the season

Morneau is 3-for-18 (.167) this spring, but none of the stats matter to him -- not the average, and not the number of Cactus League at-bats.

"It's more of a feeling than it is a number," Morneau said. "I just want to feel like I don't need to cheat to get to the ball inside. I can go down the street [to Minor League camp] and get 10 at-bats in a day if I want to when they're playing intrasquad games.

"It's getting to that pitch without thinking about getting to it. It takes a little while. It's a trust thing."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page, Thomas Harding and Friends at www.Rockies.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.