Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Furcal Is Choosing Caution with Back; Shortstop Would Rather Give It Extra Time to Calm Down Than End Up on Disabled List; Cardinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Furcal Is Choosing Caution with Back; Shortstop Would Rather Give It Extra Time to Calm Down Than End Up on Disabled List; Cardinals

Article excerpt

DENVER - Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal felt enough of the tension ease in his lower back to take part in the team's pregame work Tuesday, but he said he'd rather miss a few more games now than push himself into an extended absence as he did once before.

"That happened when I was in LA (with the Dodgers)," Furcal said. "I played with it. I didn't say anything, and then I went back to the (disabled list) for a month. I don't want to do that. I want to take three or four days off, get everything done, and then when I come back feel much better."

Furcal did not start for the third consecutive game, and the Cardinals are only hopeful that he'll arrive at the ballpark today ready to start. The switch-hitting leadoff batter described Monday how he woke up Friday with soreness in his back and tingling down his right leg. Furcal said he can still feel the sensation when he presses on an area near his hip. He received extensive treatment Monday at the ballpark, and the team was encouraged by his progress.

Furcal took ground balls during the pregame warmup and swings during the team's batting practice. Manager Mike Matheny said he would determine Furcal's availability as a contributor Tuesday night based on how the shortstop felt following the workout.

"It's one of those injuries that comes back in this business," Matheny said.

Furcal had back surgery in 2008 to alleviate discomfort, and he missed time in 2010 with a back strain. On Tuesday, he described how initially he was concerned that the tingling sensation he felt Friday was similar to ones he felt on the left side during the previous injuries. He was relieved when it abated after a couple of days of rest.

"I know how hard I'm working to be healthy," said Furcal, whose 60 runs scored are the second most in the National League for a leadoff hitter. "Then when it gets back to this stuff it makes me very frustrated because I want to play. I don't want to sit down and watch the game."

GARCIA SET FOR SPRINGFIELD

Encouraged by the first start of Jaime Garcia's rehab assignment, the Cardinals have scheduled the lefty for a start Saturday with Class AA Springfield. …

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