(BaseballStL) – Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal has been shut down indefinitely from all baseball activities after suffering a setback while rehabbing from a partially torn ligament in his right elbow.
Furcal said Tuesday that he was making progress and was hoping to soon appear in the field of Grapefruit League games. But things apparently changed late this week.
“He’s just not feeling good and kind of went in a bad direction,” said manager Mike Matheny. “We don’t know the severity of it but it wasn’t good news.
“I’m not getting too far ahead in any one direction, but we know that he’s done quite a bit of rehab and to go backwards isn’t necessarily a good sign.”
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The 35-year-old Furcal missed the final month of the regular season and playoffs last fall due to the elbow injury. But he rehabbed the elbow and an MRI in late-November showed the ligament had completely healed.
Furcal is also dealing with a bone spur in his right elbow but Matheny said the renewed discomfort is likely related to the ligament.
“Right now he’s just having pain standing around,” Matheny said. “With the way he’s talking it sounds like the ligament may be problems. We don’t know for sure but things are pointing in that direction.”
Asked about what Furcal could do to treat the issue, Matheny said, “More rehab or surgery, but I don’t want to get too far ahead because we still don’t have enough information.
“We did take a turn in the wrong direction.”
Furcal would likely be lost for the season should he need surgery on his elbow ligament. Even if he elects for rehab it would seem to be a long shot that he’s ready to play by Opening Day.
The Cardinals currently have Pete Kozma and free agent addition Ronny Cedeno as backups at shortstop and Matheny said both would get the majority of work there in the short term but he wouldn’t rule out Daniel Descalso moving to short. Descalso is currently battling for playing time at second base with Matt Carpenter.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is not with the club in Viera and was not immediately available for comment.