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ESPN: Yadier Molina's knee is OK

An exam of St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina's knee has revealed no structural damage, according to ESPN.

He's expected to be back behind the plate as soon as Tuesday.

While the Redbirds have managed to do without Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal and Jaime Garica this season, it would have been tough to expect the club to keep plugging along at a 98 win pace without Molina's bat and defensive skill on the field for an extended period of time.

The Cardinals are counting on a very inexperienced pitching staff. And, in many ways, Molina has been the glue holding things together. After more games than I can recall this season, St. Louis pitchers can be heard on the radio or television talking about how Molina guided them through the game and kept things together.

And let's not forget Molina leads the National League in batting average by a wide margin. Once relegated to the bottom third of the order, he now routinely holds down a spot in the heart of it. While Tony Cruz is a pretty decent back-up receiver, he can't fill Yadi's shoes at the plate.

it's a shame the Cardinals are shackled to Ty Wigginton's two-year contract. For the amount of production he provides, the Redbirds might as well use their 25th roster spot on a third catcher. Then at least manager Mike Matheny wouldn't feel obligated to keep Molina in for entire games because if Cruz played and got hurt the club wouldn't have a third option behind the dish.