Albert Pujols, the likely winner of a second consecutive National League MVP award, had bone spurs removed from his troublesome right elbow during a procedure Wednesday morning, according to a release from the St. Louis Cardinals. The club went on to say the doctors who performed the procedure agreed that Pujols “did not need ligament reconstruction.” Pujols will begin rehab next week in St. Louis. No timetable for his return has been set.
The thought going into the procedure — which was done in Birmingham, Ala., by Dr. James Andrews — was that Pujols would be able to return from this surgery in time for spring training activities. The Cardinals and the doctors left open the possibility that upon entering Pujols’ right elbow to perform the surgery a more intrusive operation would be necessary. Pujols has been playing with a tear in the ligament since 2003.
During the surgery, Andrews removed bone spurs and bone chips from Pujols’ elbow. The release makes the point that today’s surgery was not related to the nerve transposition surgery had last season, though it does involve the same joint.
Cardinals team physician Dr. George Paletta was also in attendance at the operation.
Freese, 26, hit .323 in 31 major-league at-bats this season and, according to several within the organization, would have been placed on the postseason roster if room could have been found.
He instead must settle for standing first in line for auditions next spring.
“I think we would like to give him a shot to play every day,” Mozeliak says. “If we need to ramp up the offense in another way, we have plenty of time. But given what he accomplished this year, I definitely think (Freese) deserves that chance.”
I other chirpings The Cardinals are interested in bringing back Smoltz and DeRosa. They may pick up Smoltz at a cheap price in the next two months but wait till DeRosa’s surgery is over.