Now Commenting On:

Club doesn't expect elbow to limit Furcal's preparation


JUPITER, Fla. -- Though the Cardinals will not rush Rafael Furcal's preparation process this spring, the club does not anticipate the shortstop having limitations because of his right elbow. Furcal's 2012 season ended in late August when he suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in that elbow.

Furcal arrived in Jupiter on Wednesday and did his first bit of work at the Cardinals' complex on Thursday. He is cleared to hit, field and throw.

"He feels like he's pretty much on program," manager Mike Matheny said. "You have to realize what you had last year. We went pretty slow with him and he came out of the box carrying us. We understand that we can put him on a program and we'll be good as long as things point in a healthy direction."

Indeed, Furcal's Grapefruit League results last year caused some concern about his health and readiness for the season. He finished with just 10 hits in 52 at-bats. It had no carryover effect, though, as Furcal produced three three-hit games in the team's first four games of the season.

How cautious the Cardinals end up being with their starting shortstop this spring will ultimately be dictated by how Furcal feels as he gradually pushes himself further.

"We'll just watch," Matheny said. "We'll be listening to the trainers and what they say. We'll listen to what Raffy says and how he feels."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español