Cardinals' Rafael Furcal May Have Torn UCL

An injury that has plagued pitchers all season long is rearing its head with position players as well.  Carl Crawford's season just recently ended after he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar colateral ligament in his throwing elbow.  Rafael Furcal, shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals, may be faced with the same fate.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Furcal is going to see doctors to confirm the injury.

While this may very spell the end of Furcal's season, it's important to keep in mind these injuries don't affect position players like they do position players.  Crawford may have been able to finish out the season with the Red Sox, but the team decided to shut him down because they were out of contention.  That's not the case with the Cardinals.

St. Louis is currently holding the final Wild Card spot, just a half-game ahead of of Pittsburgh.  Losing their starting shortstop will put added pressure on the rest of the team to hold off a streaky Pirates ball club. While the Cardinals would love for Furcal to be able to play through this injury, he felt a clear pop and had to leave in the 6th inning yesterday.

Furcal is hitting .265/.326/.347.  He was an All-Star for the third time this season.  In his career, Furcal has been a .281/.346/.403 hitter, but he is currently playing in his 13th Major League season.  Furcal won Rookie of the Year in 2000 with the Atlanta Braves, the team who is just ahead of the Cardinals in the Wild Card standings.

Furcal won a World Series with St. Louis last season and returned this year to make another run.  At 34 years old, Furcal still has some solid baseball left in him, but it's unknown how much Tommy John surgery will affect him going forward.  It could have no effect, or it could severely limit the remianing years in which Furcal could play.

  




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