Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lyons' Injury Was a Gradual One

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lyons' Injury Was a Gradual One

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI * The Cardinals' uncertainty about lefty Tyler Lyons' health not only influenced who was available Tuesday and Dean Kiekhefer's travel plans but also how the team decided to start Jaime Garcia on short rest this past weekend.

A week ago the Cardinals learned that Lyons had pain within his right knee and that he was having difficulty with full extension of the leg. He pitched two innings for a hold a week ago in New York and pitched two-thirds of an inning Saturday in relief of Garcia. Manager Mike Matheny said Lyons' inability to pitch more than an inning or two Saturday led to the team using Garcia, who struggled in the first short-rest start of his career.

Lyons' injury "was building up over time," Matheny said.

Lyons was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right knee. The precursor to a stress fracture will require "a good little while" of inactivity, the manager said. He has not been told that Lyons will miss the rest of the season, but they expect several weeks before he'll pitch. Lyons had an MRI taken of the joint shortly before Tuesday's game, and the Cardinals had Kiekhefer remain in Cincinnati just in case he was needed. They added the lefty Wednesday.

Matheny said Lyons' situation did not influence the decision to keep an eighth reliever on the roster for the series against the Reds. The short bench meant more double-switches in Tuesday's loss, but he was willing to accept those for the added arms in the bullpen, he said. In the ninth inning with the bases loaded, closer Oh hit for himself and was told not to swing and became the third out.

"It was all about pitching at that point," said Matheny. "I was extremely happy with how that game played out. We had a one-run lead. Good defense on the field. Our closer on the mound. I was extremely happy with where we stood. Just didn't work out."


Matheny had a suggestion for leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter after reading the box scores and reports glowing with his production while on a rehab assignment at Class AA Springfield.

"Save some of those," Matheny said.

Carpenter made his fourth and final rehab start Wednesday night at the Cardinals' Class AA affiliate, and going into that game the All-Star was four for eight with a home run hit Tuesday. …

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