From the Minnesota Twins’ official Twitter feed comes word that first baseman Justin Morneau has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Rochester.
Morneau has been out of commission since undergoing surgery on his neck near the end of June. He’s also still regaining strength from the several months that he lost to a concussion.
The 30-year-old native of British Columbia was batting just .225 with a .619 OPS, four home runs and 21 RBI in 231 plate appearances before the neck problems landed him on the disabled list and eventually the surgeon’s table.
Traces of morphine, amphetamine, Prozac and Ambien were found in Roy Halladay’s system at the time of his death, according to the autopsy findings Zachary T. Sampson of the Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. The former Phillies and Blue Jays ace and two-time Cy Young Award winner was killed in a plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico last November. While the exact cause of the incident has not yet been determined, it was a combination of blunt force trauma and drowning that resulted in the 40-year-old’s death.
Further details from the NY Daily News revealed that Halladay sustained a fractured leg and a “subdural hemorrhage, multiple rib fractures, and lung, liver and spleen injuries” during the crash. As for the drugs present in his system, the autopsy report suggests that the presence of morphine could be linked to heroin use, though there’s no clear evidence that he did so.
The toxicology results also determined that Halladay had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.01. A BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit for operating a car, but current FAA regulations prohibit any alcohol consumption for eight hours before operating aircraft. Halladay was both the pilot and sole passenger aboard the plane when it crashed.
Previous statements from the National Transportation Safety Board indicate that the investigation is still ongoing and could take up to two years to resolve.