Furcal was diagnosed with a Grade 2 strain of the ulnar collateral ligament on Friday, a day after he came off the field having felt a pop and tingling sensation in his right elbow. The Cardinals' medical staff is hopeful that the ligament will heal with therapy, rehab and about four to six weeks of rest.
That timetable is what prompted general manager John Mozeliak to define the likelihood of Furcal playing again this season as "very rare." Furcal, though, isn't ruling out a return, even if he'd be limited to part-time duties like pinch-running or bunting.
"I have to listen to what the doctors say about how I'm feeling, because I don't want to lose this year and then the whole next year," Furcal said. "I'm getting my mind positive. I think I can play before the season is over."
The Cardinals will likely know in about a month whether Furcal will need surgery to repair the ligament damage. If the treatment turns that way, Furcal would likely be sidelined for six to eight months. That would put the start of the 2013 season in question for the veteran shortstop.
Furcal is signed with St. Louis through next season. He will remain with the team during his rehab work this month, and his energy will be welcomed by his teammates.
"I'm going to be around," Furcal said. "It's a team, and I want to support my team. I want to be around, talking loud with my teammates."