Cardinals team physician Dr. George Paletta confirmed the diagnosis on Wednesday, and said that Pujols will need reconstructive surgery at some point, but not immediately. He said the Cardinals' first baseman has a "high-grade" tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, as well as bone spurs, inflammation and arthritis in the joint.
I'm not sure why it's better for Albert to play through this kind of stuff now if surgery is inevitable. Yes, I realize the NL Central can be had with 86 wins or whatever, but the Cardinals aren't exactly primed to contend this year. Wouldn't they rather have a completely healthy Pujols at the beginning of their next competitive season than a damaged Pujols during what looks to be a lost year? What, does La Russa have a fantasy team he's worried about?