Matt Holliday is dejected about the latest injury to his right quadriceps, but he is holding out hope that he can return in September or October.
“I don’t know,” the St. Louis Cardinals left fielder said Friday, two days after he suffered a Grade II strain of the quad as he ran to first base against Cincinnati. “I suspect I’ll be playing soon, but I have no time frame. It’s one of those deals where you know when you know. Right now, I don’t have any idea. It’s one of those day-to-day deals. I just kind of go from here.”
Holliday, 35, first injured the quad June 8 running for a fly ball at Coors Field in Colorado. He returned July 17 and was batting .207 with one home run and five RBIs in 11 games.
“It’s discouraging. It’s frustrating,” Holliday said. “You miss that much time and you get back to playing. I played a full two weeks and felt like I really got over the hump. To kind of take a step back like that was frustrating.”
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Holliday believed the leg was getting better each day.
“I felt like I was over the hump. It’s frustrating that it happened again,” he said.
Holliday injured himself when he grounded into a 5-4-3 double play in the first inning against Anthony DeSclafini. He managed to get to first base, but failed to touch the bag and made a beeline for the dugout, where he fell to the floor.
Holliday underwent an MRI on Wednesday night and the Cardinals announced Thursday that he had suffered a Grade II strain, which will require three to six weeks of rest prior to rehab.
“It was about three steps in. I felt it pop,” Holliday said. “I had run hard for balls in the outfield and had pushed from first to third a time or two. This wasn’t more strenuous.”
Holliday said the latest injury is near the same spot as the first.
“It’s a similar area, a similar injury,” he said. “I think there’s some other area that’s also injured, but it’s similar.”
Holliday on Thursday received a platelet-rich plasma injection that could accelerate the healing. Former Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal received a PRP shot in September 2012 after injuring his elbow in Washington, but he was unable to return and didn’t play in 2013, either.
Holliday didn’t have a PRP injection after the first quad injury.
“It wasn’t discussed last time,” Holliday said.
Does Holliday believe it will help?
“Potentially,” he said. “It can’t do any harm. It was worth it. ... I want to play as soon as I can play. My leg will dictate when that is. Whenever I’m able to run at a decent clip and play, I’ll play.”
Holliday didn’t feel like he had been a handicap to the Cardinals playing at less than 100 percent.
“I felt like I could run at a good enough effort to play the outfield. I could still play at a high enough level to where I didn’t put my team in any sort of jeopardy in a big spot,” he said. “For whatever reason, I was probably still a little bit susceptible to a little bit of an injury. Unfortunately, it got me.”
Third baseman Matt Carpenter slugged two home runs for the first time in his career Thursday night after manager Mike Matheny plugged him back into the leadoff spot. Carpenter was 4-for-5 with four RBIs in a wild 9-8 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Carpenter led off the game with another home run, his 13th, on Friday. He added a double in his second at-bat in the second before being intentionally walked in the fourth.
“We shouldn’t be that surprised because he’s proven that’s the kind of guy he can be,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He can be a guy that sets the tone for our offense. It doesn’t all rely on him. We don’t put all that pressure on his shoulders, but he’s a guy that can come out and really be a spark for us and really be a run-producer and get on base.”
Carpenter began Friday hitting .370 in the leadoff spot and .225 in the No. 2 hole.
“I got off to a slow start right when we came back from the (All-Star) break, statistically, but I felt good. I felt like I was close,” Carpenter said. “The whole second half, I’ve felt good at the plate. I knew it was just a matter of time. I don’t like saying that and making it sound like I’m cocky, but I really, truly believed that. I know I can hit. I know what kind of hitter I am.”
A first for Moss
Newcomer Brandon Moss was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd of 43,518 on Thursday when he was announced as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.
“I’ve never had one in my life,” Moss said Friday, adding that he was completely taken aback. “It was surreal. I’ve played in a lot of smaller markets. Things like that don’t happen. It was new to me.”
Moss joined the Cardinals on Thursday in a trade for former No. 1 draft pick Rob Kaminsky, a promising 20-year-old left-hander who was one of the club’s top prospects.