Cardinals hope to have Freese back Sunday

Cardinals hope to have Freese back Sunday

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals third baseman David Freese will likely return to the starting lineup Sunday for the finale of the three-game series with Washington.

Freese rolled his right ankle in the indoor batting cage prior to Monday's game at Houston.

The MVP of the 2011 World Series has been progressing steadily since the freak injury, which occurred when he stepped into a soft spot while getting in a few late cuts minutes before the start of the game.

"I felt pretty good running, making cuts and turning," Freese said. "I'm close."

Freese, who has 20 homers and 79 RBIs this season, took batting practice both Friday and Saturday.

Manager Mike Matheny is treating Freese's injury with kid gloves and wants to make sure he is close to 100 percent before putting him back in the lineup.

"He's still not quite there," Matheny said. "Hopefully, he'll be there [Sunday]."

Freese has eight hits in his last 12 at-bats and has reached a career high in homers. The Cardinals are 16-3 when he homers.

Matt Carpenter had done a solid job at third in Freese's absence.

"I'm trying to get back as soon as I can," Freese said. "But you sleep better when you're hurt and you're still winning."