SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Holliday hoped to return quickly from an emergency appendectomy, and as it turns out, he will.
According to Cardinals media relations, the club's head athletic trainer cleared Holliday to play on Sunday, and the slugger is in the St. Louis starting lineup. He will start in left field against the Giants and left-hander Barry Zito.
Holliday played on Opening Day, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, but the next day he required an appendectomy. That was April 1, and he has not played since. Holliday missed seven games as a result of the procedure.
The typical recovery time for a baseball player from an appendectomy is two to four weeks, but the club expressed optimism all along that Holliday would beat that projection.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.