JUPITER FL - FEBRUARY 17: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals answers questions from the media at Roger Dean Stadium on February 17 2011 in Jupiter Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Albert Pujols Injury Update: Cardinals Activate Slugger From Disabled List

Albert Pujols could return to the Cardinals starting lineup starting Wednesday after being activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.

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11 Total Updates since June 20, 2011
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Albert Pujols Expected To Start Wednesday, Is Actually A Machine

Albert Pujols's four-to-six week stint on the disabled list following an injury sustained in a collision at first base has faced down Pujols in mortal combat and lost, possibly because the St. Louis Cardinals' famously mechanical first baseman is not a mortal. A day after being activated from the DL Pujols is expected to start in Wednesday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds, with Bronson Arroyo the lucky recipient of Pujols's return up to a month ahead of schedule.

Pujols was on his hottest streak of the year when the injury occurred; he had homered earlier that day and finished his abbreviated month of June with eight home runs in 63 at-bats. Wrist injuries are always terrifying for hitters, but Pujols has been subjected to and passed a series of diagnostics and burn-ins—sorry, I mean human physical examinations—and passed all of them, even the Turing Test.

With Pujols back in the lineup the Cardinals will shift All-Star starter Lance Berkman back to the outfield, leaving less playing time for third-and-a-half outfielder Jon Jay.

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Albert Pujols Injury Update: Cardinals Activate Slugger From Disabled List

Albert Pujols’ injury was expected to keep him out of the St. Louis Cardinals lineup for quite awhile. 15 days later, however, and the latest update it quite promising.

Pujols was activated from 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, according to an announcement from the team, after originally suffering a small fracture on his wrist on June 19. The original injury happened when Wilson Betemit of the Kansas City Royals collided with the slugger at first base.

Pujols wasn’t immediately reinserted to the starting lineup for the Cardinals game Tuesday night against the Cincinnati Reds, but there seems to be a chance he would be available to pinch hit since the team made the move to activate him.

Considering the initial diagnosis was that Pujuls would be out of the Cardinals lineup for around six weeks, it’s pretty surprising that he’s been activated so early — not that anyone should be complaining, though.

To make room for Pujols in St. Louis, the Cardinals moved relief pitcher Brian Tallett to the disabled list retroactive to Monday.

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Albert Pujols Wrist Injury: Free Agency Implications Are Still Unknowable

With Albert Pujols set to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist, fans and would-be experts of the St. Louis Cardinals are reopening the book on his future in free agency—one that's been closed since the tense end to negotiations in Spring Training and his slow start to the season seemed to render it completely impossible to figure. The one SB Nation St. Louis position on the wrist's ramifications on that free agency situation is this: it is still completely impossible to figure.

For one thing, Pujols's production after the wrist injury is going to have more bearing on what goes on in his contract negotiations than his production before it. His impossibly hot June has turned him back into an above-average first baseman, if not a competitor for the title of best ever, so if he comes out of the wrist injury batting like Albert Pujols general managers might be willing to forget the GIDPs ever happened.

The wrist injury heightens the risk, though. Wrist injuries are scary; every team has a story about a promising hitter ruined by wrist injuries (our most recent one is Joe Mather), and slumps can quickly turn into fuel for a paranoid mind when it comes to wrists, to backs, to knees. If he has the same slump he had in May in August he could be in for a chillier-than-usual reception.

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Albert Pujols Injury: His Shoulder's Bugging Him Too, While He's At it

The St. Louis Cardinals team doctors have a reputation (and I think they share it with just about every other team doctor in the Major Leagues in his home city) for obfuscating the injuries that are coming across their desk—everybody seems to be progressing nicely, at all times, for the most part—but I don’t think we can blame them for the sidestory regarding Albert Pujols’s wrist injury, which is that his shoulder is also hurting.

Pujols himself performed the progressing nicely bit this time, mentioning the shoulder in the middle of a longer quote about his wrist, which will be checked further Monday.

At this point Pujols has so many nagging injuries from so many different seasons—the just-hanging-on elbow, the plantar fasciitis, the constant, undifferentiated limping—that it’s probably natural for him to be this vague. But I’m not sure I, as a fan, will ever be able to get used to it, no matter how nicely the shoulder turns out to be progressing.

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