After initial reports indicated Yadier Molina had suffered an oblique injury in the ninth inning of the Cardinals' Saturday game against the Chicago Cubs, the team is now saying the injury is not nearly as serious as initially feared. Molina left Saturday's game in the ninth inning after attempting to avoid an inside pitch. After the game, the team reported Molina was suffering from back spasms, and reports have only improved from there. As St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz reported Saturday night, the team is encouraged but remains cautious:
Matheny says trainers are "encouraged" by Molina condition. Will evaluate him again tomorrow morning.— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) September 22, 2012
With the Cardinals holding a thin 2 ½-game lead for the National League's second wild card spot, any long-term injury to Molina could be devastating. The three-time Gold Glove-winning catcher is hitting .319 on the season with a career-high 20 home runs and 70 RBI.
The Cardinals, which have won five of their last six games, return to action Sunday afternoon in the final game of a three-game set against the Cubs.