David Freese likely out until late July following hand surgery

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David Freese exited yesterday’s game with a broken hand thanks to a Scott Linebrink fastball and today general manager John Mozeliak announced that his return timetable is 9-12 weeks.

According to Mozeliak he’s unlikely to return until late July, which is a big blow to a Cardinals roster already decimated by injuries.

Freese was off to a strong start, hitting .356 with an .865 OPS in 25 games after putting up solid numbers as a rookie last season, and the Cardinals’ options to replace him at third base aren’t very appealing.

Daniel Descalso is getting the start there tonight, Nick Punto and Tyler Greene are light-hitting options, and Allen Craig has some third base experience in the minors if the Cardinals want to sacrifice defense to get his bat in the lineup. Albert Pujols played 1.1 innings at third base yesterday in an emergency situation, but don’t expect to see him back at the hot corner.