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Albert Pujols Should Take His Time On Wrist Injury

Albert Pujols's absence from the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup just as he'd become Albert Pujols again isn't the only reason his team has sunk from first place, but it's as good a reason as any, and the wrist injury he suffered—for which he's expected to miss four to six weeks—has predictably become a cause for speculation by fans desperate for a shot in the arm. Bernie Miklasz accurately assessed the major question about Pujols's availability when he asked off-handedly whether anyone "really [thought] a team doctor [would] make Pujols wait" if the slugger declared himself ready to play ahead of schedule. 

I don't think a team doctor would, but I think he should. Wrist injuries—even the relatively straightforward one Pujols suffered—are scary. Every team has its own anecdote about a hitter who returned too early from one and was never quite the same afterward, and the Cardinals can't afford for Pujols to be that guy—especially if they want to sign him in the offseason.