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Albert Pujols's Wrist Injury Healing Sooner Than Expected, Per Report

An unusually direct report from Joe Strauss Saturday suggests our national Albert Pujols injury nightmare could soon be over, if his sources are correct; the Post-Dispatch writer suggests that the St. Louis Cardinals' recently unslumped first baseman will be back right after the All-Star Break if current conditions hold after his next examination by team doctors. 

I'm not sure what the doctors' apparently "aggressive treatment to promote healing" is, but if it's working I can't complain. 

In the meantime, the Cardinals have started erstwhile right fielder Lance Berkman at the position while sticking Jon Jay in right, allowing for a defensive upgrade in the outfield to partially offset the loss of Pujols, who was in the middle of a thunderous June when he took a poorly placed ball from Pete Kozma directly into the path of Kansas City Royals infielder Wilson Betemit

Pujols was hitting .317/.419/.778 in June after hitting just two home runs in May and struggling to get on base in April. His successful return from a wrist injury would do a lot to assuage concerns about his apparent decline heading into one of the most eagerly anticipated offseasons in recent memory for teams that aren't the Cardinals.