Ankiel absent from Saturday matinee

Ankiel absent from Saturday matinee

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals are monitoring the health of center fielder Rick Ankiel, who did not play in Saturday's 9-8 victory over Tampa Bay.

"I think Ank's got a shoulder problem," manager Tony La Russa said.

Ankiel apparently experienced shoulder discomfort after a swing in Friday's game against the Rays. He was checked out by the medical staff after Saturday's game, but left the clubhouse without elaborating on how he was feeling. Ankiel said he couldn't comment because he didn't have the examination results.

Ankiel went 0-for-4 in Friday's game. He is hitting .285 with seven homers and 21 RBIs.

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.