JUPITER, Fla. (Baseball StL) – Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal was a limited participant in Thursday’s workout due to renewed pain and discomfort in his right elbow.
Furcal, who missed the final month of the regular season and playoffs last year with a partially torn ligament in his elbow, pushed hard during a strenuous workout Wednesday and felt the effects of that a day later.
“We’ve always been concerned, but in terms of the soreness, it’s probably a case of him doing too much yesterday,” general manager John Mozeliak said Thursday. “Still we are going to back off and slow him down a little bit.”
The 35-year-old Furcal hit .333 the first two months of the season but struggled to just a .215 average the rest of the way. He was injured on a throw during a game in Washington on August 30 and didn’t play again the rest of the season.
An MRI in late November showed Furcal’s elbow to be completely healed but he arrived in camp on a throwing program that has yet to call for him to throw with maximum effort.
MLB.com reported late Thursday that Furcal is also dealing with a bone spur in his elbow and has taken anti-inflammatory pills to try and ease the pain. Furcal did not swing left-handed or do much throwing during Thursday’s practice.
Furcal told MLB.com that his elbow still hurts “a lot,” adding, “I can throw maybe 30, 40, 50 percent all day long. I’m ready to play, but in my mind, I don’t want to be playing shortstop and they (hit) me one ball and then I try to push it so hard and then it hurts.”
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Asked about his availability for Opening Day, Mozeliak said, “I’m not at the point where I am worried about Opening Day, but I also don’t want to act like it’s a slam dunk.”
The Cardinals start Grapefruit League play Saturday against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium but it’s unknown when Furcal will be ready for game action.