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He’s baaaaack: Albert Pujols returns from fractured wrist, but not in lineup tonight

Jul 5, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

UPDATE: Pujols has officially been activated from the disabled list after going through pregame workouts, but surprisingly he’s not in the starting lineup tonight. He is, however, available to pinch-hit.



Brian Stull of 101-ESPN in St. Louis reports that doctors have cleared Albert Pujols to return just two weeks after a fractured wrist that was expected to knock him out for 4-6 weeks.

No roster move has been made yet, but it sounds like Pujols will indeed be in the Cardinals’ lineup for tonight’s game against Edinson Volquez and the rival Reds.

If true, that means Pujols will have missed just 13 games. With a fractured wrist.

St. Louis went 6-7 in his absence to hang on to first place in the NL Central at 46-40, with the Brewers (one game back), the Pirates (1.5), and the Reds (3.0) all within striking distance. And now we’ll see if Pujols can pick up right where he left off, as he was hitting .339 with eight homers and a 1.265 OPS in the 16 games leading up to the injury. Normally I’d note how wrist injuries often sap a hitter’s power initially, but at this point attaching anything “normal” to Pujols seems silly.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Over/under on a Pujols dinger tonight?

    • Florio_Jr. - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      Off Edinson Volquez in the first inning (Volquez’s time to shine!!) It’s going to be a lot of fun at the old ballgame tonight. GO CARDS FIRST PLACE!!!!!

    • paul621 - Jul 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      How do you put an over/under on a yes/no question?

  2. hansob - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Outstanding decision by the Cardinals this year to hire Mr Miyagi as their trainer.

  3. spudchukar - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    Sometimes you just can’t keep a good man down. Will power, baby.

    • spudchukar - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      Can Wainwright be far behind?

      • paperlions - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        Wainwright would be back already if he had any pride.

        I also blame any negative deviation from a .400 OBP, a .600 SLG, or a 3.00 ERA on a lack of pride of the particular player.

      • spudchukar - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        Confusing Will with Pride PL?

      • paperlions - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        No, there is a certain commenter than insists that intermittently poor performances or declining performances related to age are issues of “pride” as opposed to skill, talent, or ability…..just poking fun.

      • spudchukar - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        OK, understood.

  4. okwhitefalcon - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    Now maybe Ken Dayley can come out of retirement and get a lefty or 2 out late in a game…

    Moving on:

    I never thought he’d be out the entire 6 weeks but to the contrary, I never thought he’d be back in 2 either.

    Albert being Albert.

  5. schrutebeetfarms - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:52 PM

    So they’re not testing for HGH yet right?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM

      I have thought more about this and what I find most concerning is that the MLB does not yet test for the “gypsy tears” treatment. This is troubling.

      • paperlions - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        Considering that the evidence for the performance enhancing benefits of gypsy tears is every bit as overwhelming as that for HGH….I totally agree.

  6. spudchukar - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Much like the Pyramids of old, never diminish the healing powers of the Arch. Alchemy re-emerges.

  7. aceshigh11 - Jul 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    It just doesn’t seem possible to heal up from a bone fracture in two weeks, but…good for him. Obviously he wouldn’t risk it if he wasn’t feel up to it.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      It’s probably more of a chip in there, but due to his Oscar worthy performance at the time of the hit, they had no choice but to call it a fracture. Or people would be calling him Sally pants instead of Superhero.

  8. hotkarlsandwich - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    I hope he comes out and does a flip like Ozzie when he runs on the field.

  9. ballou0254 - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    “I’m not a machine guys, I’m just Albert”

    • Phillies Homer - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      It’s possible that the Cardinals organization chose the expedited delivery method for the part needed from Japan, instead of the standard 4-6 week option.

  10. dailyrev - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    He could hit 4 HRs tonight and make me look like an idiot, but I don’t like it. It’s a week before the AS break; Milwaukee’s in somewhat of a tailspin to the point where those incredible Buccos seem more of a threat to St.L; and the guy fractured a bone after all. Best case scenario is get to the point where it’s healed and wait a week longer after that. That is, if I’m his mgr. I see little or no payoff in bringing him back now and considerable risk vs. after the AS break. You play into July to make August and September competitive and important (the 1984 Tigers being the exception that proves that rule): AP will be crucial starting soon enough, but he’s not a critical component right now, from tonight to the break. In fact, they’ve already gotten their early season critical issue resolved (Carpenter’s location and endurance) — this is not a time to push your luck.

    • nixonotis - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:40 PM

      As the general manager of my fantasy team, I vehemently disagree.

  11. Phillies Homer - Jul 5, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Not in the lineup??? What a p*ssy!!!

  12. cintiphil - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    I don’t think the Cards need Albert to beat the Reds. The Reds are not hitting now anyway. maybe after the All Star game, Cincinnati can pick it up or go down for the year. Who tought the Pirates would be so close, even in this poor division?

    • nightman13 - Jul 5, 2011 at 6:11 PM

      The NL Central is the 2nd best division in baseball.

  13. macjacmccoy - Jul 5, 2011 at 9:37 PM

    over/under on him getting plunked in first game back and shattering his wrist?

    • spudchukar - Jul 6, 2011 at 12:02 AM

      Exactly what kind of mind thinks like that?

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