It is being diagnosed as a sprain and while preliminary x-rays revealed no broken bones, the St. Louis Cardinals won’t be able to breathe a sigh of relief until additional tests and the pending results are made available later Monday on the left wrist of first basemen Albert Pujols.
It came in the sixth inning, when the Royals’ Wilson Betemit hit a slow roller up the middle. Pete Kozma threw off balance and off the mark of Pujols, and the ball and Betemit got to first base at the same time. Betemit ran into Pujols as his glove got knocked off. Pujols staggered into foul territory and fell to the ground in pain.
Betemit said. “I didn’t know where he was going. I was running hard and the ball got there at the same time I got to the base. I couldn’t do anything. It just happened.”
Manager Tony La Russa said team doctors said that Pujols had a strong grip after the game, perhaps a good sign that no further damage has been done other than a sprain. Pujols also banged up his shoulder. After the game, Pujols met with the media.
Albert Pujols talks about his injuries (1:00 mp3)
General Manager John Mozeliak said he was “sick” when he saw Pujols go down. “There is going to be another round of diagnostic testing in the morning (Monday),” 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.”