Furcal hoping to contribute again in 2012

Furcal hoping to contribute again in 2012

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal, though back with his teammates this homestand, remains uncertain whether he'll be able to contribute in any way before the end of the 2012 season.

Furcal, shut down due to a right elbow strain, was required to avoid any right arm exercises for two weeks after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sept. 4. That two-week window has passed, but Furcal said on Wednesday that he has no plans to resume throwing any time soon.

"They don't want me trying," Furcal said, referring to the team's medical staff. "I don't want to try. I don't want to hurt [my arm] worse and then have to get surgery."

If Furcal can heal without surgery, he is expected to be recovered fully by the start of Spring Training. If surgery is needed, a recovery time of six to eight months is expected.

Furcal continues to frequent the workout room, where he is focused on keeping his lower body strong. He has not ruled out the possibility of returning this season in a limited capacity. He could, for instance, be an asset as a pinch-runner.

"I wish I can come back this year and be available to do something," Furcal said. "Now, I feel like I'm not doing anything for my team."