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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has ruptured disk

Sunday, March 3, 2013 | 5:48 p.m. CST

VIERA, Fla. — St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a ruptured disk in his back.

Matheny, a major league catcher from 1994-06, is scheduled to have an epidural injection Monday to reduce inflammation and get a particle off a nerve. If the injection doesn't help alleviate pain, he said surgery would "have to be something we would consider."

Starting his second season as the Cardinals' manager, Matheny has had back issues for several years.

"I've had problems for a long time, off and on," he said Sunday. "I've been on a program to kind of strengthen it, but ... something set it off in a bad direction. I don't know exactly what it was."

Matheny did not travel with the team to Kissimmee, Fla., on Friday, citing back pain and food poisoning. He returned to manage the Cardinals on Saturday in Jupiter.

Cardinals lose to Nationals

Ryan Zimmerman went 1 for 3 with an RBI single in his first spring training game following shoulder surgery, helping the Washington Nationals defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-6 Sunday.

Zimmerman had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Oct. 25. An All-Star in 2009, Zimmerman hit .282 with 25 homers and 95 RBIs for NL East champions last season despite the injured shoulder, which needed cortisone shots in June and September.

He was the designated hitter against the Cardinals rather than playing his usual third base.

Washington starter Ross Detwiler gave up one run and four hits in two scoreless innings and struck out four in his last appearance before joining the U.S. for the World Baseball Classic.

Chad Tracy hit a two-run homer and a double for Washington, and Zach Walters had a game-ending single off Eduardo Sanchez in the ninth.

Shane Robinson homered for St. Louis, and Pete Kozma had three hits. 


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