ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals first baseman and three-time MVP Albert Pujols will miss four to six weeks with a small fracture that was found near his left wrist, the team announced Monday.
Pujols had an MRI and followup x-rays Monday morning with the Cardinals' team physicians. A non-displaced fracture was discovered in his left radius, a bone that makes up the forearm. Pujols' arm will be placed in a splint, and the Cardinals expect him to be out of the lineup for four to six weeks.Pujols will go on the 15-day disabled list, and the official statement from the Cardinals said they will announce a roster move before Tuesday's game against Philadelphia. By placing Pujols on the DL, the Cardinals are able to recall any of the players recently optioned to Class AAA Memphis.
Lance Berkman is expected to take over at first base for the Cardinals.
The release said that Pujols' shoulder is sore but, according the club, no structural damage was found "at this time."
Pujols' final at-bat before the injury was his 17th home run of the season, a homer that put the Cardinals briefly ahead in their 5-4 victory against Kansas City. Pujols appeared in all 73 games the Cardinals have played this season, and he hits the DL with a .279 average, a .355 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.
Four to six weeks will be the longest Pujols has been on the disabled list in his career. He had two previous stays on the DL.
The fracture is similar to an injury a person might have after slipping on ice and landing with the full force of their weight on a wrist. There was no mention of surgery being required to repair the damage, per the release.
Pujols injured his wrist and shoulder in the sixth inning of Sunday's game when Kansas City baserunner Wilson Betemit collided with him along the first-base line. Pujols was upbeat after the game, saying that an initial scan of the wrist done at Busch Stadium did not reveal any fractures in the bone.
The scans he underwent Monday morning provided a more detailed look at the structure of the left wrist.