By The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Albert Pujols is making progress toward returning to the St. Louis Cardinals’ lineup from a broken left wrist.
Pujols, a three-time National League MVP, had a CT scan on Friday.
“He got the test and he’s working,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said before Saturday night’s game at Tampa Bay. “I’m just really pleased with a lot of good news on that front.”
La Russa wouldn’t speculate on when Pujols might return, but thinks the first baseman could be back ahead of time. Pujols, injured on June 19, was originally projected to up to six weeks.
Pujols will be examined again on Monday when the Cardinals open a three-game series at Busch Stadium against the Cincinnati Reds.
Unless a fresh concern arises, it is expected that Pujols will be cleared to immediately resume baseball-related activities. Such clearance would make it virtually certain, barring a setback, that Pujols would be activated when the team returns from the All-Star break in Cincinnati on July 15.
Pujols was hurt while trying to make a tag after taking an offline throw from second baseman Pete Kozma and the Royals’ Wilson Betemit collided with his glove hand.
Pujols was able to return quickly from his two other stints on the DL. He was sidelined from June 4-21, 2006, with a strained right oblique, and sat out June 11-25, 2008, due to a left calf strain.
Pujols had begun to surge prior to the injury, raising his average to .279 with 17 home runs, 52 runs scored and 45 RBI. He drove a home run in the inning before being injured.