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St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2008-10-30


St. Louis Cardinals Inside Pitch 2008-10-30
First baseman Albert Pujols, the leading candidate for the 2008 National League Most Valuable Player award, has had the elbow surgery that many Cardinals fans had feared. But it was not the ligament replacement surgery that could have cost him much of next season.

Instead, Pujols should be ready for full participation in spring training after a nerve in the elbow was transposed.

General manager John Mozeliak said the club was "very encouraged" that the 25-minute outpatient surgery performed by Dr. George Paletta would not hinder Pujols at all, and Paletta even said, "I would not describe it as a big-deal procedure."

The torn ligament in the elbow still could be an issue, but Paletta said he didn't foresee the need for any further procedures.

"I'm still optimistic we can still manage (the ligament) without surgery for the remainder of his career," Paletta said.

Despite the lingering elbow condition and assorted other ailments, Pujols batted .357 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs last season besides, scoring 100 runs and drawing more than 100 walks for the first time in his career.

By not having major surgery, Pujols keeps alive his hopes of playing in the 2009 All-Star Game in his hometown next July and perhaps even of performing with the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic in March.

Pujols already has won one major honor: He was voted the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the player who best combines community service with excellence on the field.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 30, 2008

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