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Ankiel's return delayed

The Cardinals have decided not to activate Rick Ankiel off of the disabled list for unspecified reasons.


Manager Tony La Russa said the Cardinals centerfielder -- who has been on the disabled list for two weeks following his violent collision with the outfield wall -- won't be activated for play until the weekend at least.


Ankiel has been in Palm Beach where he rehabbed with the club's Advanced Class A team. La Russa apparently wasn't pleased with how Ankiel played on his rehab assignment, although he didn't say specifically why.


“No way he should play today,” told the Associated Press on Wednesday. “He didn’t do enough down there to get pushed and he needs to push himself here, so we’re going to err on the side of caution.”  


There seems to be some concern that Ankiel, whose pitching career was derailed by his lack of confidence in being able to throw strikes, may have been un-nerved by the outfield collision that initially seemed like it could have seriously injured his neck.

“You’ve got to go out there and play,” Ankiel told the AP. “In Florida I didn’t have many opportunities to really chase anything down towards the wall, but I don’t feel like it’ll affect me.”  

The Cardinals said that Ankiel will likely play right field when he comes back to limit the likelihood of a problem with another outfielder or the wall.