Cardinals and Pujols Taking a Risk in Returning Too Soon

Steve O Speak

With reports coming out of St. Louis that star 1B Albert Pujols is nearing a return from the D.L., I begin to question if this is a good idea or not. Not only for the Cardinals, but for Pujols’s long term future.

Obviously the Cardinals have missed Pujols as evidenced by their 5-7 record in his absence, but I’d be concerned about pushing him too soon. St. Louis just got 3B David Freese and 2B Nick Punto back from the D.L. so their lineup has been strengthened already. While it is tempting to bring Pujols back to really take advantage of this strong order, St. Louis should know that they can survive the next 2-4 weeks without him.

Pujols himself shouldn’t push himself as he is about to embark on free agency after this season, and rushing back from injury is something that can’t be undone. Now I’m not saying that his impending FA status eliminates his concerns to his team, but you can’t ignore that impending FA period either.

I’m no doctor, but two weeks seems like an incredibly short time period for him to return. That looked like a bad injury from the replay, and while it apparently happened in a good spot a wrist fracture is still a wrist fracture. I have a hard time believing that it is fully healed and that he isn’t risking more serious injury. Which if it occurs not only ruins the Cardinals season, but could set back Pujols in free agency. For my perspective, nothing is really gained by bringing him back now instead of a couple weeks from now. I hope the Cards are right on this, but it will be something to watch out for.

What do you guys think? Would you bring Pujols back this week, or would you play it safe and wait a couple weeks?

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