Now Commenting On:

{"event":["opening_day" ] ,"content":["injury" ] }

Freese still waiting for green light to return

Freese still waiting for green light to return play video for Freese still waiting for green light to return

PHOENIX -- Though Mike Matheny continues to receive encouraging reports about David Freese's work down in Florida, the Cardinals manager is not ready to promise the third baseman a place in the team's lineup for Monday's home opener.

That April 8 game remains a target date for Freese to come off the disabled list, though he still has  checkpoints to pass before he is removed. One of the most important will be his ability to play nine pain-free innings and then recover appropriately. Freese, whose back injury traces back to a spill he took into the stands during a March 4 game, did not play nine innings in a Grapefruit League game this spring.

"We're not ruling out that he'll be there on Monday, but we're also not ruling out that he might need a little more time," Matheny said. "We're looking everything over. He's really kind of pushing the envelope of trying to be ready by Monday, and we wanted him to kind of push that. But we need to make sure that he's ready to play a full game before we risk bringing him back to St. Louis."

According to Matheny, Freese's back responded well to the cardio work he did on Tuesday. The Cardinals still tentatively plan to have Freese play in extended spring training games on Friday and Saturday.

"Obviously, we don't have our own eyes on him, so we're going to have to hear exactly what they're seeing and how he's moving," Matheny said. "We have to see how he bounces back. We just don't have a lot of time to get as much information as we need. We'll take everything into consideration."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["opening_day" ] ,"content":["injury" ] }
{"event":["opening_day" ] ,"content":["injury" ] }
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