Beleaguered third baseman David Freese, whose ankles are both figurative ticking time bombs and probably literally tick when he moves them, now, is already practicing with the St. Louis Cardinals and likely to be back in time for Opening Day, but he's questionable for Monday's 2011 Spring Training opener, against the Florida Marlins.
Freese's 2010 ended after he blew out his ankle in a rehab start in AA Springfield; his 2009 just barely began before it was derailed by different ankle problems. He remains penciled in as the Cardinals' starting third baseman, and with Nick Punto likely to lose all of April thanks to a sports hernia Freese's health is more important than ever.
The Post-Dispatch reports, startlingly enough, that Tony La Russa is cagey about when and where Freese will play. At one point he seems to suggest that the Cardinals might hold Freese back because he's feeling so well; this is the exact point in which you should stop thinking about what Tony La Russa says, and just take your best guess if you're waiting on your Spring Training 2011 ticket package until you know Freese's status.