Pujols leaves with injury — UPDATED
ST. LOUIS — An injury that at first terrified the Cardinals may yet turn out not to be as bad as was feared. Albert Pujols left St. Louis’ 5-4 win over the Royals on Sunday with a sprained left wrist, and the club hopes that further examination will reveal nothing more severe.
Pujols was hurt in a collision at first base with the Royals’ Wilson Betemit. He is also experiencing some soreness in his left shoulder, but the wrist injury is the greater concern at this point.
“I can’t give you too much until we do x-rays tomorrow,” Pujols told reporters after the game. “Pretty much right now I’m just telling you I’m pretty sore in my wrist and my shoulder. We’ll see tomorrow. We took a look at it. I passed a couple tests. But tomorrow we still need to do an x-ray and an MRI. They can’t tell anything with the machine that we have here.”
General manager John Mozeliak said on Sunday afternoon that Pujols underwent an x-ray as part of his initial examination, and that no broken bones were revealed at that time. Still, a full read on the severity of Pujols’ injury will not be available until at least Monday.
“There is going to be another round of diagnostic testing in the morning,” Mozeliak said. “Just to rule out ligament issues and all that. I’m cautiously optimistic, but I couldn’t’ handicap it either way at this point.”
Mozeliak declined to say whether he expected Pujols to require a disabled list stint.
Leading off the sixth inning, Wilson Betemit hit a slow roller up the middle. Pete Kozma fielded the ball and made a throw to Pujols, and as Betemit got to first base, he made contact with the slugger’s left arm. That knocked the mitt off of Pujols, and Pujols hit the ground in obvious pain.
Pujols was removed from the game after being examined on the field. Lance Berkman took over for him at first base. Pujols had put the Cards ahead in the previous half-inning with a solo homer off of reliever Louis Coleman.
The Cardinals have had a staggering run of injuries already in 2011. They have used the disabled list 13 times this year and have seven players currently on the DL, including two with hand or wrist injuries.