Cardinals Are Ailing, So Skip Schumaker Is Asked To Rush Back From His Oblique Strain Rehab

The St. Louis Cardinals (9-5) have jumped out an early three-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers (6-7) in the NL Central, but they have sustained some collateral damage along the way. Adam Wainwright's has struggled on the mound during his comeback bid in 2012, but now the injury list is really starting to pile up on general manager John Mozeliak. On Thursday the team placed Lance Berkman on the 15-day disabled list with a calf strain, and by the end of the day their starting center fielder (Jon Jay) was spotted with a sling on his right arm.

All of this has put pressure on utility player Skip Schumaker to make an early return from an oblique strain he suffered during spring training, as noted by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

A few hours after Mozeliak confirmed that Lance Berkman would go on the 15-day disabled list with a calf strain and that Schumaker would join the team in Pittsburgh today, center fielder Jon Jay left the ballpark with his right arm in a sling.

..."We'll have some availability in the outfield," manager Mike Matheny said. "We're going to have to get him in there and see how he feels, see how he looks. The obvious answer is we do have a spot now in center field that we didn't anticipate."

..."When you think about all of the options we had - and we can explore all of them - we thought this was the safest thing to do," Mozeliak said.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more coverage, check out SB Nation's Cardinals and Pirates blogs, Viva El Birdos and Bucs Dugout. News and notes from around Major League Baseball can be found on Baseball Nation.

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