Furcal unlikely to return against Astros

Furcal unlikely to return against Astros

Furcal unlikely to return against Astros
HOUSTON -- Rafael Furcal felt some improvement in his sore left hamstring on Tuesday, but not nearly enough to play in the Cardinals' game against the Astros. Furcal is expected to miss the remainder of the Cardinals' series in Houston.

Any potential availability beyond Wednesday remains unknown. If the Cardinals tie the Braves in the National League Wild Card race, they would play a one-game tiebreaker in St. Louis on Thursday night. The NL Division Series starts on Saturday.

"I just heard [Furcal will miss] this series," manager Tony La Russa said. "I don't know how bad it is."

Furcal injured the hamstring, one that has bothered him before, in Monday night's loss to Houston. He acknowledged he was still having some problems with it on Tuesday.

"I feel a little sore, but a little better," he said.

"It's a disappointment. Terrible. All the time I was on track, getting better, getting better, get hurt. It's tough."

Nick Punto started at shortstop for the Cardinals on Tuesday.