Team physician Dr. George Paletta provided details of Pujols' injury for the first time last week, disclosing that the superstar has a high-grade tear of the ulnar collateral ligament along with bone spurs, inflammation and arthritis in the joint. At some point, Paletta said, surgery that would sideline Pujols for an estimated eight months may be required.
But not yet.
Pujols remains the big bat in the Cardinals' lineup, hammering his fourth homer in only 27 spring at-bats on Wednesday off the Marlins' Gaby Hernandez. He's batting .370.
"I'm seeing the ball really good and I feel real good at the plate," Pujols said. "Obviously, it's the hard work I put in before the game and on my days off."
When Paletta's diagnosis became news last week, Pujols was shocked when friends called to ask if he was OK. He briefly wondered if the Cardinals were withholding information from him.
His conclusion: slow news day.