However, the Cardinals have stayed in contention since Pujols hit the 15-Day Disabled List with a fractured forearm and are currently clinging to a one game lead in the highly contested NL Central.
Originally slated to miss anywhere from 6-8 weeks, Pujols has made a miraculous recovery and is anticipating a return sometime this week, if not tonight.
Despite his speedy recovery, one must wonder how this recent brush with severe injury plays into Pujols' contract demands.
Expected to test the free agent market this winter, Pujols has been rumored to be seeking a 10 year, $300 million deal.
With Pujols' other-wordly demands in mind, the Cardinals may be inclined to walk away from their franchise cornerstone given the adequate ball they've played in his absence.
Here are two ways that Pujols' injury will impact the MLB Offseason.