Nick Punto out 8-12 weeks following hernia surgery

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Nick Punto visited a specialist after showing up at Cardinals camp with groin soreness and the doctor gave him some bad news, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that he’ll be out 8-12 weeks following hernia surgery.

According to Goold the diagnosis is that Punto has a “sports hernia/hockey hernia” and general manager John Mozeliak indicated that the Cardinals don’t expect him to be available until “sometime in May.”

Punto signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with St. Louis after spending the past seven seasons in Minnesota. He was expected to serve as the Cardinals’ primary backup infielder and would likely have been in line for some early starts at third base depending on David Freese’s status. Ramon Vazquez, Tyler Greene, and Daniel Descalso are the other utility man candidates in camp.