Wong to undergo MRI on injured left shoulder

News-DemocratJune 22, 2014 

— Kolten Wong will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine whether there is anything structurally wrong with his sore left shoulder.

"We did strength tests to find out if anything was torn. The strength is still there," the St. Louis Cardinals rookie second baseman said. "The MRI is going to tell us, basically, how serious it is. With the lingering injury and (considering) the pain hasn't gone away, they're going to take a second look at it. I can't tell you if it's serious or not. That's why we're going to have the MRI."

Wong, who was optioned to Class AAA Memphis to hone his hitting skills earlier this season, went on the disabled list Saturday. The team recalled outfielder Shane Robinson.

Wong injured the shoulder trying to make a diving play June 3 against Kansas City. He later left the game.

"I feel a little better, but I still felt a little pinch here and there," Wong said Sunday, adding that he is unable to follow through on swings. "It just made sense to fix it now instead of keeping it the whole year and trying basically to suck it up."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny didn't blame Wong for wanting to remain active, hoping the discomfort would subside. However, Matheny and the coaching staff knew something was wrong as Wong endured a 2-for-30 stretch that dropped his average to .228.

"If you don't push in this league, you're not going to be around," Matheny said. "So he was doing the right thing. But when you're pushing and you can't perform, that's when it's our job to step in with the medical team and say, 'Are we in the way of something maybe getting healed to where he can be at his top form again?'"

During a 13-year career, Matheny often played through pain.

"I can't tell you how many times I went home and whined to my wife --who was the only one who would listen to me --and tell her I didn't think I could catch anymore because my knees were so bad," Matheny said. "A couple of days later, for whatever reason, I was fine. The body has an incredible way of adapting.

"But there's also things you've got to stop and say, 'All right, we need to take a break here.' This appears to be one of those for Kolten."

Wong firmly believed the shoulder would improve.

"I thought if I kept playing through it, eventually it would go away," Wong said. "But it's been a couple of weeks and it hasn't gone away. so we'll take care of it now before it gets any worse."

Wong is not expected to accompany the Cardinals on their upcoming trip to Colorado, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"I would imagine he would be able to get more work by staying back here and work with the trainers," Matheny said. "I don't think he's that far off. I think he's going to be able to get into baseball activities pretty quick."

Kelly throws bullpen

Joe Kelly, who has been on the disabled list since April 17 because of a strained left hamstring, threw a bullpen Sunday morning and will begin a minor-league rehab Friday at Memphis.

"He came in with a lot of bounce," Matheny said. "He was extremely excited about how he felt. I think today was the first day he really felt, 'I'm going to let it go. They've given me clearance.' He trusted it and let it go."

In addition to his minor-league rehab, the Cardinals want Kelly (1-1, 0.59 ERA in three games) to participate in some pitcher fielding drills, similar to spring training.

Showing support

Adam Wainwright showed up at Busch Stadium on Sunday with a United State flag painted on his face. Wainwright's wife, Jenny, was the artist.

Wainwright said he was showing support for the U.S. soccer team as it prepared for its World Cup game against Portugal.

"I saw it this morning and then I saw it once he got dressed in uni and figured it was going to be for all to see," Matheny said. "I was originally kind of hoping it was for the clubhouse to see --and his kids. I was hoping that was really the goal.

"Yeah, U.S.A."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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