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Twins send struggling closer Perkins home for tests on ailing neck

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It seems like it's been forever since Glen Perkins got the final three outs for the American League in the All-Star Game, putting a bow on a first half of the season in which he was a perfect 28-for-28 in save opportunities.

Since the break, Perkins has been tagged with three losses and two blown saves and he has an ERA of 8.10 in his last 10 innings.

The reason for his struggles? His neck is bothering him.

Perkins was flown from New York back to the Twin Cities on Tuesday and doctors will examine his neck Wednesday, the Twins announced.

"He's been having some irritation, so we're going to have that checked out," Twins manager Paul Molitor said following another disappointing loss to the Yankees Tuesday. "He'll get an MRI tomorrow. It was mostly postgame last (Monday) night when the conversations began and what actions we wanted to take. It became clear what was needed to be done."

1500 ESPN reports that Perkins has been bothered by the neck issue for about seven weeks, dating back to Minnesota's final series before the All-Star break.

According to the Pioneer Press, the irritation Perkins is experiencing is similar to a nerve issue he had in his neck last year, which ended his season in September.

It's possible he could receive a cortisone shot to relieve the irritation, the newspaper notes. La Velle Neal III of the Star Tribune says Perkins will need a couple of days to recover from a cortisone shot, so don't expect him back on the mound until the weekend.

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