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Punto needs surgery

If you've invested in a Nick Punto jersey, you might not want to bust it out just yet.

Punto has been diagnosed with a sports hernia, according to the Cardinals, and is likely to be out eight to 12 weeks. That could shelve him until about Memorial Day.

The Cardinals left themselves dangerously thin this off-season at third base, despite David Freese's balky ankles. Manager Tony La Russa said last week that he thought Freese would play about two of every three games with Punto, presumably, picking up the slack.

But Punto reported to camp with a sore groin that didn't seem to respond to rest. When the condition lingered, the Cardinals sent him to St. Louis for an exam and it turned up the sports hernia.

I sure hope Freese is healthy because Plan B seems to have gone up in smoke. That leaves Tyler Greene as Plan C if the starting third sacker has any setbacks.

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