Joe Mauer and Joe Nathan are teammates again, if only briefly, representing the American League in the All-Star Game. It was a difficult return trip for both.

Nathan missed 2010 after blowing out his elbow and sputtered through 2011 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Mauer was limited to 82 games in 2011 by injuries ranging from a bad left knee to pneumonia, which ended his season in August.

"I've talked to Joe quite a bit. It's been nice to catch up with him," Mauer said.

Teammates since Mauer's rookie season in 2004, they played as opponents over the weekend in Arlington, Texas, where the Rangers took two of three from the Twins.

"Obviously, it made the flight a little easier last night, but I'm real happy for Joe," Mauer said. "He came back from Tommy John, and I told him congratulations and that's it's nice to see him back where he belongs, in the All-Star Game. He's an elite closer, and to come back from injury like that is real impressive."