Morneau will return on Friday

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says star first baseman Justin Morneau will return to the team Friday at Cleveland.

Gardenhire made the announcement on Wednesday before the Twins played Boston. Morneau has been out since June 9 after having surgery to relieve a pinched nerve in his neck.

Morneau has played five games in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester and has been clamoring to return to the Twins ever since he first hit the field. He is hitting .409 with four doubles in five games with the Red Wings.

The plan is for Morneau to play nine innings with Rochester on Wednesday and Thursday before flying to Cleveland to rejoin the Twins.