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Tests negative on Punto's rib cage

Tests negative on Punto's rib cage

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MILWAUKEE -- It's been four years since Michael Cuddyer has played second base, but there is a chance that he'll be manning the position for the Twins during a series against the Cardinals in St. Louis this weekend.

With Nick Punto sidelined by sore ribs this week, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had Cuddyer taking grounders at the position over the past couple of days.

Punto is still listed as day-to-day after he headed back to Minnesota on Thursday morning to have his sore ribs examined. An MRI of his ribcage came back clean, and the X-rays were also negative, so Twins general manager Bill Smith said that Punto will rejoin the team in St. Louis for the start of the series. But it's still unclear when Punto might be ready to play.

Gardenhire said before Thursday's series finale, and eventual 6-4 win, against the Brewers that Cuddyer was his first option to start at second base for that contest if anything happened to Matt Tolbert, and he added that he might even start Cuddyer at the position in St. Louis.

Cuddyer, who has played a total of 60 games in the Majors at second base, but none since 2005, said that he'd welcome the opportunity to go back there if the team needed him.

"Sure, why not?" Cuddyer said with a smile.

"I'll do whatever the team needs to win," Cuddyer added. "If Gardy feels the lineup is best that day with me at second to start the game, I'm going to do the best I can and it's not an issue. I'm not too proud to move out of right field."

But if Cuddyer is tabbed to play the position this weekend, there will be one thing he needs.

"I have to borrow somebody's second baseman glove," Cuddyer said, having not brought his on the trip. "I wasn't planning on that."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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