St. Louis Cardinals: Pujols to Have Tommy John Surgery?

Derek CoffeltSenior Analyst ISeptember 9, 2008

According to, slugger Albert Pujols is contemplating having Tommy John surgery after the season ends. The procedure usually takes about six months to recover.

Cardinals faithful knew that at some point El Hombre would have to get his elbow repaired after playing with the ulnar collateral ligament injury since 2003.

"The sooner that I get it done, the better it's going to be for me," Pujols told KSDK-TV, "because I'm going to heal quicker than if I wait two or three more years. It needs to be done."

Despite the injury, Pujols has actually elevated his game to new heights and continued to hit at a highly consistent level. However, 2007 might have been the line in the sand as Pujols started to gather advice about his elbow injury.

During last season it was determined that he wouldn't need surgery but, it was only a matter of time.

Hearing the news that Pujols will have a long battle over the off-season, I couldn't help but wonder where exactly the leadership is for THIS season. If I was a player in that locker room I would certainly have concerns.

Think about it.

In the midst of at least having a chance to make the post-season, your top player is already talking about having off-season surgery. It nearly sounds like they're throwing in the towel.

Whatever the motivation was for Pujols to publicly state that he will have surgery, it was still bad timing. Even with an outside shot of getting to the playoffs, a team's leader has to stay 100 percent focused.

With that said, the bright side is that Pujols had to get this done at some point. This year probably was the best year to do it. I just wish he would have stated this after the season ended or when the Cardinals were officially out of contention.