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  • Pujols considering elbow surgery

    ...in the offseason...

    By Derrick Goold
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Sep. 09 2008
    Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, riding what he calls his best wave of
    offense in a couple of years, raised the specter of his elbow injury Monday,
    saying in a televised interview that he's considering offseason surgery.

    Pujols and the Cardinals have said since last winter that the former MVP some
    day would require reconstructive surgery to repair a shredded ligament in his
    right elbow. But Pujols resisted minor surgery last winter, and both sides have
    been optimistic he could play this season — and perhaps the rest of his career,
    a team doctor once said — without surgery.

    At his annual charity golf tournament, Pujols told KSDK (Channel 5) he's
    pondering a surgery that could cost him the start of next season.

    "I'm thinking about it; I'm thinking really hard," the first baseman told the
    local station. "There's just a lot of things next year going on, the All-Star
    Game (in St. Louis), the (World Baseball) Classic, you know. But I think in the
    long run the sooner that I get it done the better it's going to be for me
    because I'm going to heal quicker than if I wait two or three more years. But
    it needs to be done."

    Pujols leads the National League with a .359 average, and he is five RBIs shy
    of his eighth consecutive season with at least a .300 average, 30 home runs and
    100 RBIs. As the Cardinals welcome the division-leading

    Chicago Cubs tonight to Busch Stadium for the first of three games, Pujols has
    entered league MVP consideration with a .452 average since mid-August.

    With home runs in both games this past weekend, Pujols has six homers and 13
    RBIs in his past 13 games.

    How he has performed, even with the tear, is part of the postseason discussion
    Pujols, his representatives, team officials and the team's medical staff will
    have to discuss treatment for the elbow.

    Pain is another consideration. Pujols has said that the elbow has not been an
    issue this season. He recently said that the swelling and soreness he
    experienced last season has not been a problem this summer.

    The ligament tear in his right elbow is more severe than the one that sent
    pitcher Chris Carpenter to surgery a year ago, team doctor George Paletta said
    this spring. A position player — especially a first baseman — can play through
    the injury; a pitcher cannot. Likewise, rehab is different for a position
    player. Recovery from the surgery for a player would be eight to nine months,
    with a best-case return after seven months.

    Offseason surgery, even in October, would mean Pujols would be likely to miss
    at least the first month of the 2009 season.

    Team sources have said Cardinals officials see a 50-50 chance he'll have
    surgery this offseason. General manager John Mozeliak said Monday even that
    speculation is premature.

    "I know this is something that bothers Albert," Mozeliak said. "We have to be
    cognizant of that and sensitive to that. We have to discuss what is the best
    thing for Albert and his career, first and foremost. ... I know Albert has
    concerns. His elbow isn't 100 percent. Is it to the point where it has to be
    surgically repaired? I don't know that answer."

    Pujols hosted the sixth annual Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Tournament on
    Monday at The Country Club of St. Albans. It is an event that raises at least
    $350,000 for the Pujols Family Foundation, his representative said.

    In a brief meeting with several members of the media, Pujols announced that the
    funds raised help in endeavors such as the relief visit to the Dominican
    Republic he'll make this November, the third such trip for his foundation. As
    he did in the first trip, he'll bring dentists from the St. Louis area to treat
    children in remote villages of the Dominican Republic.

    Pujols has played nearly six seasons with the tear in his elbow, which occurred
    during April 2003. It has been diagnosed as a "high-degree tear" of the ulnar
    collateral ligament. In addition to the tear, Pujols has developed bone spurs
    and arthritis in the elbow. This past winter, the Cardinals and Pujols
    discussed three courses of treatment. Pujols and team officials said he
    rejected both surgical options — cleaning out the joint and removing the spurs,
    or the more invasive reconstruction.

    Rest and ongoing treatment through the season was prescribed.

    Pujols has said the elbow has not limited his ability to play this season, nor
    is there any indication it has limited his ability to produce.

    "Last year was a little bit up and down, (and) I couldn't find myself at the
    plate where I am right now," Pujols said over the weekend. "I struggle a little
    bit through that. These last six weeks I'm driving the ball the other way. ...
    That's why I struggled last year. I couldn't find myself for even a game at the
    plate."

    One of the celebrities appearing at Pujols' tournament is certain to have elbow
    surgery: Closer Jason Isringhausen will have a tendon repaired in his right
    elbow Friday. By electing to have the surgery now, Isringhausen could rehab in
    time for spring training. He will be a free agent this winter.

    "Never had any trouble coming back yet," Isringhausen joked before teeing off,
    a reference to this being his ninth operation. "I want to give myself every
    opportunity to be ready. That way I can make a decision this winter if I want
    to pitch (next season). I'm sure it will be on an incentive-based deal with
    someone. That's how this usually works."
    Last edited by 007; 09-08-2008, 11:08 PM.

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    Get it done the day the season ends and I'd put money on him being in the lineup on opening day.

    Assuming a miracle doesn't happen in the next 3 weeks and we don't end up in the playoffs, I'm all for him getting it done at seasons end.
    Official Lounge Sponsor
    Jim Beam, Fun Dip, and Guns 'N Roses

    2014 TP College Football Pick'em Champion

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by StlCardz1982 View Post
      Get it done the day the season ends and I'd put money on him being in the lineup on opening day.

      Assuming a miracle doesn't happen in the next 3 weeks and we don't end up in the playoffs, I'm all for him getting it done at seasons end.
      Yeah, it sounds like something that could take away productive seasons at the latter half of his career. I'd hope he'd get it done too.
      I like cheese.

      Comment


      • #4
        Do it sooner than later, please

        Official Sponsor of Marco Gonzales and the Productive Out!!!


        Said the Quangle Wangle Quee

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        • #5
          Get it done as soon as the Cardinals are eliminated from the playoffs, assuming that comes before the end of the season. I'd rather him miss meaningless games at the end of the season and be more likely be ready day one in '09.

          -RBB

          Comment


          • #6
            He gets $200k for winning the MVP. Those last games aren't meaningless to him.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by backstop View Post
              He gets $200k for winning the MVP. Those last games aren't meaningless to him.


              $200k for someone making his kind of jack is like me missing 75 cents.

              Make America Great For Once.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bleacher Creature View Post


                $200k for someone making his kind of jack is like me missing 75 cents.

                But that .75 means a bag of Red Hot Riplets...

                so there's that precious commodity...

                "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 007 View Post
                  But that .75 means a bag of Red Hot Riplets...

                  so there's that precious commodity...
                  Make America Great For Once.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That's three Little Debbies.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      that's a paid trip to DR for 5 dentists.
                      Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's a lot of nasty frozen coffee things at Mobil On the Run for Tazlaz after Pujols drives in six runs on the last day of the season.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          that's a new trophy to show at Pujols 5.
                          Sometimes elections have positive consequences!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cardinalgirl View Post
                            that's a new trophy to show at Pujols 5.
                            Or 1/12 of a side of asparagus at Pujols 5.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Or a shiny new Studebaker back in KBF's day.

                              Comment

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