The St. Louis Cardinals will no longer use longtime team physician George Paletta for players' medical care, the team announced Tuesday.
"Dr. George Paletta and Dr. Lyndon Gross will no longer provide medical services to the team," the team said in a prepared announcement," as the Cardinals will fully engage a team of Mercy Sports Medicine physicians to provide comprehensive player care."
The Mercy team will emphasize innovation and cutting-age treatment in a team approach to player care, the club said.
"The Mercy Sports Medicine model allows us to improve the level of innovative care available to our team by tapping into a remarkable team of physicians who are leaders in sports medicine," General Manager John Mozeliak said. "The biggest change I see with the approach is that it is truly a team model - a model that leverages the strengths of multiple physicians within the Mercy Sports Medicine group. This is a strategic plan that will handle our short-term needs, but also focus on long-term goals."
"While we move to this new model, we want to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Paletta and Dr. Gross for the outstanding care they have provided our players over the years," Mozeliak said.
Mercy officials said they welcomed the new arrangement with the team.
"We are proud to offer top-flight, coordinated medical care for the Cardinals, just as Mercy Sports Medicine does for other professional teams and weekend athletes," said Donn Sorensen, Mercy Regional President. "To know that we can contribute to putting a championship team on the field is very humbling and gratifying."
For years, Paletta has performed surgeries, or assisted on those surgeries, for a number of Cardinal players.
The Mercy Sports Medicine team supporting the Cardinals will include orthopedic surgeon Michael J. Milne, MD, who is "board certified and fellowship trained in shoulder and knee surgery," the team said.
"The Cardinals' lead internist will be Mercy Clinic physician Jason Hand, MD. Mercy Clinic Sports Medicine physician Brian Mahaffey, MD, will serve as primary care, sports medicine and minor league liaison," the team announced.