Injured Furcal unlikely to return in Houston

Injured Furcal unlikely to return in Houston

Injured Furcal unlikely to return in Houston
HOUSTON -- Neither Rafael Furcal nor manager Tony La Russa sounded especially optimistic about Furcal's status after the Cardinals' shortstop came out of Monday night's game due to discomfort in his left hamstring.

The club initially called the condition "tightness," but Furcal referred to it more as a pull. He is not expected to play in either of the team's remaining two regular season games. Furcal first felt something amiss when he singled in the fifth inning, and noticed that it was worse as he ran toward second base on a subsequent double-play ball.

"I was running, I felt it, and I tried to go to second," he said. "I felt it a little bit, and I thought, 'OK, I can do it.' And then when I tried to go hard ..."

Furcal did not rule out playing on Tuesday, but he did not sound overly confident. La Russa meanwhile was more direct.

"He'll miss a couple games," the manager said. "He's got a little tug in his hamstring, so I don't see him playing the next two games here."

Nick Punto, who came in for Furcal, would likely get the bulk of the playing time in his absence.

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.