The St. Louis Cardinals could be without shortstop Rafael Furcal for the remainder of the season after he reportedly suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow. Furcal is receiving an MRI to confirm the diagnosis today, according to SB Nation Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos:
Now, Joe Strauss reports that Furcal is flying back to St. Louis for an MRI confirmation of an initial diagnosis of a UCL tear.
The UCL or ulnar collateral ligament is a ligament that stretches across the elbow. UCL tears and strains are extremely common in baseball, although somewhat more common among pitchers than position players, due to heavier abuse of the elbow among pitchers.
The treatment for a torn UCL is normally Tommy John surgery, which means a lengthy rehab of usually 6-9 months.
The St. Louis Cardinals are now thin at infield with no clear replacement for Furcal known at this point. Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals will not pursue a trade to replace Furcal and will likely promote Pete Kozma, who is hitting .232 with 11 home runs and 63 RBIs for the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds this season.