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La Russa not counting on Ryan to be healthy by opener

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told the Associated Press Friday that he doesn't believe that Brendan Ryan is going to be 100 percent when the season starts.

But he said he thinks the St. Louis roster has enough talent to fill the hole at shortstop without searching for help from outside of the organization.

According to the AP story:

Tyler Greene and veteran Julio Lugo are at the top of the list of those who'll get more playing time while Ryan is out. La Russa wasn't sure if utility infielder Ruben Gotay, signed to a minor league contract in the off-season, was an option at shortstop.

Ryan's doctors say that they expect him to miss three to six weeks of hitting following arthroscopic surgery on his wrist to address problems with pain and an inability to get it loose. That would give Ryan at least a couple of weeks to try to get back into the swing of things before the season started. But La Russa said he knows from experience that these sorts of injuries tend to linger on longer than expected.

blog post photo

Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire takes some cuts in the batting cage Friday. While McGwire worked with Brendan Ryan on his swing over the off-season, there is no truth to rumors that he will come out of retirement and play shortstop until Ryan is healthy. (AP photo)