Cardinals Molina ready for All-Star game despite sore knee

Monday, July 8, 2013 | 8:00 p.m. CDT; updated 9:04 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 8, 2013
Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who topped NL vote-getters for the All-Star Game, said a little rest is all he needs after an MRI exam showed only inflammation in his right knee.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina topped NL vote-getters for the All-Star Game. He wasn't around to celebrate with the team's other four All-Stars on Saturday.

Molina, who has been among the best players in the league the first half of the season, was sent for medical tests on his right knee and did not play in victories against the Marlins on Saturday and Sunday.

But Molina said a little rest is all he needs after an MRI exam showed only inflammation. He said he is hopeful of being back in the lineup on Tuesday.
"Everything came back negative and that's a relief," Molina said Sunday. "A couple days and I'll be ready to go."

Molina said the knee had been bothering him for a month but felt worse Friday, especially when he ran, "so that scared me." So the team sent him for medical tests.

"Yeah, it's definitely something that's worrisome, such a valuable piece of our team," manager Mike Matheny said. "There was no question about it. It was best to get it looked at."

Matheny said it would be a day-to-day situation. The Cardinals had Monday off.

Molina leads the National League with a .346 average, was tied for the league lead with 26 doubles and among the league leaders with 106 hits. He has played in 81 of the first 86 games and led major league catchers in innings.

Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright was named to his second All-Star team, though he won't be able to pitch. The Cardinals adjusted their rotation to give the 11-game winner two more starts before the break, and he will work the final game before the break next Sunday.

"I'm perfectly OK with that," Wainwright said. "I know the rules. They just said I can't pitch. They never said I couldn't pinch hit."

Wainwright said a chance to help the Cardinals make the postseason trumped an opportunity to pitch an inning or two in the All-Star Game.

"Would I rather have two more starts and try to help the team win two more games or pitch the seventh inning?" Wainwright said. "I'm taking the two games every time."

Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter are first-time All-Star selections.

Craig was manager Bruce Bochy's selection. He is among the league leaders with 68 RBIs and leads the league batting with runners in scoring position.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't thinking about it," Craig said. "I didn't necessarily get my hopes up because I understand how it works, so I just had an open mind about it."

Longtime former Met fan favorite Carlos Beltran also made the team for the game set for July 16 at Citi Field in New York.

"I'm just blessed to be a part of it one more time," Beltran said. "Maybe they want me back, I don't know. They love me over there, no doubt about it."



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