Pujols clarifies surgery comments

Pujols clarifies surgery comments

ST. LOUIS -- A day after Albert Pujols seemed to indicate he was leaning towards undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery this offseason, Pujols and the Cardinals both downplayed the likelihood of such a procedure.

Pujols said that his right elbow, which has been a problem since he sustained a serious ulnar collateral ligament strain in 2003, has been less problematic this year than it was in '07. He will receive consultation on the injury after the season ends, and while surgery remains a possibility, Pujols told MLB.com on Tuesday that it's far from a given.

The club issued a statement regarding the issue, as well.

In part, the statement read: "The team plans to conduct a follow-up medical exam with Pujols at season's end, just as it does every year, and will make a determination at that time as to any future course of action."

On Monday, at his annual charity golf tournament, Pujols made remarks to KSDK TV-5 that suggested that an operation might be imminent.

"The sooner that I get it done, the better it's going to be for me," Pujols told the station. "Because I'm going to heal quicker than if I wait two or three more years. It needs to be done."

On Tuesday, though, Pujols said that nothing has worsened this year, and that the pain level is "not five percent" of what it was in 2007.

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