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MRI taken Saturday night on Yadier Molina’s right knee showed no structural damage

Jul 7, 2013, 12:55 PM EDT

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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny sent a wave of fright through the Midwest on Saturday when he announced in his postgame press conference that Yadier Molina was on his way to the hospital to have his right knee examined by team doctors.

But the Cardinals and their fans can breathe again.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, an MRI taken late Saturday on the knee showed no serious structural damage. Molina was diagnosed with mild inflammation which should dissipate over time with treatment and random days of rest.

Tony Cruz is starting behind the plate for a second straight game on Sunday. Molina thinks he will be able to return for Tuesday’s series-opener against the Astros following Monday’s scheduled team off day.

Yadi — widely considered the best defensive catcher in baseball — is batting .346/.388/.490 with six home runs and 45 RBI in 81 games this season. Despite the lacking power numbers, he is a legitimate MVP candidate and wound up as the leading vote-getter in the National League for the 2013 All-Star Game.

St. Louis enters play Sunday with a one-game deficit behind the Pirates in the National League Central.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Jul 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    If reasonable improvement isn’t made at some point this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if they DL’d him and took advantage of the days off during the All Star break – he’d only miss around 7 games if they chose to go that direction.

    I’m never comfy when the Cards come back with minimal injury reports, I hope this doesn’t do a zero to 60 from minor inflammation to structural damage.

    It’ll be an interesting few days for sure.

  2. missingdiz - Jul 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    White Falcon, I’m with you all the way. Except “interesting” sometimes means awful. Back in the day we’d pick up sides using a bat, each of two guys forming his (sorry, but it was always guys then) team by picking a player in turn. Now you couldn’t do it, because it would hurt kids’ self-esteem. But anyway, if I could pick my all-world team, if I had first pick, I’d pick Yadi. The Cards without Yadi would sink to .500, I fear.

  3. gibbyfan - Jul 7, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    In this day of a few teams with absurd dollars and no cares about spending, we are so lucky to have this guy so they really have to take good care of him. Even though I believe his 15 million/year is a record for a catcher I can only imagine what would have happened had he gone F/A………both La teams, the yanks are desperate for a catcher… guess would be he would have gotten 25M or more from LA……… good work Mo and thanks Yadi and please stay healthy

    • spudchukar - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      The whole MVP thing can be overdone. But the Cards might be hard pressed to win without Waino, or Craig or Beltran. But we would be in dire straits without Molina. It is times like these when he certainly is a bargain.

  4. stlouis1baseball - Jul 9, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I am with Falcon. Except…I wouldn’t wait for “reasonable improvement.” Sit him down.
    The rest alone with do him wonders in September/October. This knee thing could very well haunt him the rest of the year. Yadier isn’t going to sit on his own. So you do it for him. Sit him down.

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