NEW YORK -- Nick Punto utilized some unusual therapy to move forward with his troublesome right elbow.
Feeling "emotionally distraught" on Sunday, Punto picked up a baseball in the visitors' batting cage at Great American Ball Park. He hurled it with as much force as he could muster, a night after elbow discomfort led to him committing an error in the Cardinals' win over the Reds. At that point, Punto feared he was bound for the disabled list for the third time in 2011. Instead, it was at that moment that things began looking up for the veteran infielder.
"I was emotionally distraught, frustrated and I picked up a ball and just chucked it as hard as I could," Punto said.
"And I just felt release of something. I truly believe that it was just scar tissue locked up in there."
He took an off-day with his teammates on Monday, and on Tuesday, Punto participated in a pregame workout. His throws from shortstop and third base felt "normal," he said, and Punto came off the field with renewed optimism.
It appears that Punto will remain on the active roster, rather than needing to be placed on the DL. He's a key player for the Cardinals, providing defensive insurance at second base, shortstop and third base.
"To remain on the roster, he's going to have to throw," manager Tony La Russa said. "He's got to play defense."
It seems that Punto will be able to do just that, and it's good news for his team.