PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Holliday has taken a step back in his recovery from a painful bout of tendinitis in his right hand, and it's very much in question whether he will be able to start any games of the Cardinals' National League Division Series against the Phillies.
Holliday pinch-hit in Saturday night's Game 1 loss, an 11-6 decision against the Phillies. The club considered him available to do the same in Game 2, but any hopes that he might have started against left-hander Cliff Lee were dashed after Holliday experienced renewed pain as a result of his Saturday at-bat.
"I don't know about Tuesday [Game 3]," manager Tony La Russa said. "I know right now, I'm more concerned than I was before yesterday's game, because he took an at-bat and he did have soreness when he swung."
Holliday did not take batting practice pregame as an attempt to minimize the strain on his hand. He said he will take a few swings when it appears he is about to come in a game, but that's it. Throwing, he said, is less of an issue than it has been at times while he's battled the injury.
"It didn't feel great [on Saturday]," Holliday said, "but we'll see how it feels when I get ready for the game."
General manager John Mozeliak did not rule out the possibility of replacing Holliday on the roster if the injury heads in the wrong direction, but he didn't sound like that's a particularly likely outcome. If Holliday were removed, the Cardinals could replace him with another player, but he would be ineligible for a potential NL Championship Series appearance.
"Obviously when we put our roster together for yesterday morning, we were hopeful that he'd be further along," Mozeliak said. "But I'm not prepared to say that we may have to make a roster move at this point."