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.