Cards activate Pujols from DL
By SPORTS NETWORK
|Albert Pujols fielded ground balls and took swings during a pain-free workout on Monday. (REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach)
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals activated first baseman Albert Pujols from the 15-day disabled Tuesday, prior to the second edition of a three-game series with division rival Cincinnati.
Pujols was slated to miss 4-to-6 weeks after suffering a fracture to one of the bones in his left forearm during a June 19 contest against Kansas City, but was cleared to play after missing just over two weeks of action.
It is an amazing turnaround given the nature of the injury.
In the top of the sixth inning of the Cards' 5-4 victory, the Royals' Wilson Betemit hit a grounder up the middle and St. Louis second baseman Peter Kozma made a backhand stop on the ball.
His throw was off line, and as Pujols reached into the basepath to grab the ball, Betemit ran into his hand, bending the wrist at an awkward angle. Pujols immediately dropped the glove and was rolling on the ground in pain.
Pujols underwent an MRI exam and CT scan the following day, which revealed a non-displaced fracture of his left radius. The 31-year-old's left shoulder also was sore following the collision, but no structural damage was found.
In the final season of his current contract which pays him $16 million, Pujols has had an off-year, hitting just .279 with 17 homers, 11 doubles and 45 RBI in 73 contests.
Pujols has managed to bat above .300, hit at least 32 home runs and drive in at least 103 runs in each of his first 10 seasons. The original recovery time for this setback put that streak in jeopardy, but with his early return to the lineup, the right-handed slugger can accomplish all three milestones once again.
To make room on the roster, the Cards placed left-handed pitcher Brian Tallet on the 15-day DL with a right intercostal strain.
Tallet is 0-1 with an 8.31 earned run average in 13 innings over 18 games this season.