KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Carlos Beltran hurt his right toe just before leaving for the World Baseball Classic, but a few weeks away from the Cardinals wasn't enough time for that injury to heal.
Beltran said his right pinkie toe, which was hit by a pitch, was better, but still swollen, when he reported back to Cardinals camp on Friday. But it hampered him in the outfield and at the plate during the Classic, and he will have to monitor how he feels over the final weeks of Spring Training.
Beltran said he only felt good in the outfield for about five innings before his foot tightened up, relegating him to mostly designated hitter duty for Puerto Rico. And the ailing toe affected his swing from the right side, when he would have to turn on his right foot.
"But it is what it is," Beltran said. "Whatever I was going to do there, I was going to do here."
Beltran went through a workout back in Jupiter, Fla., on Friday but should return to St. Louis' starting lineup on Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium.
Asked about playing the outfield during the spring, Beltran responded, "We'll see how that goes."
Manager Mike Matheny was also somewhat cautious, but expected Beltran to give it a shot.
"We'll see when he shows up tomorrow what it looks like," Matheny said, "but he knows that if at all possible, he's going to be there."
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. MLB.com reporter Jenifer Langosch contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.