UPDATE: Thursday, Mar. 7, at 9:36 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
#STLCards announce that Rafael Furcal will undergo Tommy John surgery.— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) March 7, 2013
---End of update---
UPDATE: Monday, March 4 at 8:42 p.m. ET by Ryan Rudnansky
Furcal will get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
After the visit, the Cardinals should have a better feel about the shortstop's elbow.
---End of update---
Major League Baseball’s official Twitter account originally reported that Furcal would be out indefinitely:
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak spoke with Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com about the MRI results on Furcal’s injured elbow:
Per Mozeliak, Rafael Furcal went for MRI on Friday. It showed that his elbow is inflamed but indicated no tear in the ligament. #STLCards— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) March 3, 2013
The 35-year-old veteran is entering his third season in St. Louis and his 14th year in the MLB, and it looks like the injury to his elbow could be worse than many in the organization initially expected.
Langosch went on to talk about what the next steps are for the franchise dealing with Furcal’s injury, and what could happen if surgery is the only option to repair the damage in the veteran’s elbow:
Furcal is expected to have another MRI taken on his elbow in the coming days, though Matheny didn’t have any details about when or where that examination would take place. If it’s deemed that Furcal needs surgery to address the injury, he’d likely be looking at a four-to-six month recovery that could jeopardize his season.
Are the St. Louis Cardinals a playoff team without Rafael Furcal?
This is a devastating blow to a Cardinals team that has grown to depend on Furcal's switch-hitting abilities, and losing him for any extended amount of time would hurt the team’s chances of making a run toward the postseason.
There is still a hope that the injury will not require surgery, but with four weeks until Opening Day, the likelihood that Furcal will be ready to go is growing bleaker by the day.
While Furcal is on the shelf indefinitely, St. Louis will lean on Ronny Cedeno and Pete Kozma (h/t Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch) to fill the void left by the versatile shortstop.
Cedeno was a free-agent signing this offseason, but Pete Kozma has outplayed him so far in spring training. Kozma could steal the Opening Day starting job if he continues to play well and Furcal does not return.