Molina a few days from rejoining Cards

Molina a few days from return

CINCINNATI -- Yadier Molina remains at least a few days away from returning to the Cardinals' lineup, manager Tony La Russa said on Tuesday. Additionally, La Russa said that outfielder Rick Ankiel has scheduled a date for surgery to repair his sports hernia.

Molina sustained a left thigh bruise on Wednesday in a collision at home plate, but he returned to active duty on Sunday at Pittsburgh. However, he aggravated the injury in his first game back, and it now appears he will play no sooner than Friday in Chicago.

"Yadi's still really sore," La Russa said. "I'll be surprised if he plays any of these three [in Cincinnati]."

The club announced on Friday that Ankiel had been diagnosed with a sports hernia and would likely have surgery, and general manager John Mozeliak acknowledged that day that Ankiel was not expected to play again in 2008. On Tuesday, however, La Russa said that Ankiel has scheduled an operation on the injury for before the end of this week.

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