Molina aims for quick return from bruised hand

Molina aims for quick return from bruised hand

PHOENIX -- A day after a 96 mph fastball struck him on his left hand behind the plate, Yadier Molina is cautiously optimistic that he'll be cleared to return when the Cardinals open a series at home on Friday.

Additional looks at X-rays confirmed that Molina did not suffer a bone fracture. His injury has been diagnosed as a bruised hand, and Molina provided an encouraging update when asked how he was feeling on Wednesday.

"It feels good today," Molina said. "Everything is looking good. Today it was feeling a lot better than yesterday."

Molina was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday and did not participate in batting practice. He'll rest again on Thursday -- a team off-day -- before testing his hand out on Friday.

"I was very concerned," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was good news that we didn't see a break and then today, him feeling better. We'll just see how he keeps responding to treatment."