Not only are the Cardinals hoping Albert Pujols will be able to come back from a fractured wrist shortly after the All-Star break instead of the initial August return timetable, manager Tony La Russa said yesterday that they expect him to rejoin the lineup without even requiring a minor-league rehab assignment.
“He doesn’t need it,” La Russa told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “He could go to September 1 and take X number of simulations and be ready.”
Rehab stints are fairly standard for significant injuries, even among superstar players, but La Russa was pretty adamant that Pujols is different because “experience is a great equalizer.”
Pujols actually wanted to avoid the DL altogether, insisting he could simply play through the broken wrist, so I guess a few weeks on the sidelines and a return without facing any minor-league pitching is like sitting out the expected 4-6 weeks compared to that.