Ozuna and Molina Progressing

(Busch Stadium) As the St. Louis Cardinals went through their pregame routines this afternoon, both Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna joined their team on the field.

“It’s getting better every day, a little stronger,” Ozuna said. “I feel like one more week and I’ll be good to go.”

Out since the end of June with a pair of fractures in his right hand, Ozuna played catch with Molina, who has missed the last 14 games with a right thumb tendon strain.

Molina will see the hand specialist soon.

“He’s still working through some of the discomfort,” Mike Shildt said. “It’s improved but there’s some level of it still there so he’s going to get a re-evaluation, see what that looks like and create a timetable but he’s easing back into baseball activities and it’s just a matter of getting it behind him.”

Besides playing catch, Marcell Ozuna also took part in batting practice, sending an array of shots over the wall into Big Mac Land and onto Freese Hill.

“Just good contact,” Ozuna smiled. “It’s good. It’s part of my routine. I feel good swinging.”

Turning over his right hand, Ozuna showed there was still some “minimal” swelling that remains at the base of his middle and ring fingers.

“His baselines are improving,” Shildt said. “He’s getting a lot closer, a little more quickly, to his baseline that he had with his grip strength prior to the injury. As soon as that happens and he gets the rest of that inflammation out, he’ll accelerate back into baseball activity quickly.”

That acceleration could be heading out on a rehab assignment as early as next week.

“Maybe Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,” Ozuna said. “I don’t know. Friday. I’m going to be there.”

In the meantime, Ozuna has been impressed with the team fighting their way back to the top of the National League Central.

“My teammates are doing a really good job of keeping the team on top,” he said. “Hopefully when we get back we can help a little bit more than that.

photo credit: Brian Stull/STLBaseballWeekly.com

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