Calero to miss rest of the season

Monday, June 30, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Cardinals reliever Kiko Calero will miss the rest of the season after rupturing the tendon under his right kneecap Saturday night.

The 28-year-old rookie, hurt in the fifth inning in St. Louis' 13-9 victory over Kansas City, will have surgery today, said Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals' team physician.

"This should not be something career-ending," Paletta said, "but there is absolutely no chance that he will be able to compete again this season."

While placing Calero on the disabled list Sunday, the Cardinals recalled outfielder Kerry Robinson from Triple-A Memphis, two days after sending him down. Robinson, a former Southeast Missouri State University star, had three hits in Sunday's win over the Royals.

Calero, who relieved Lance Painter with two outs, appeared to wrench his knee when he turned sharply in an attempt to field Desi Relaford's single through the box. Relaford was the only batter Calero faced.

"I just turned and got my right foot caught," Calero said, standing on crutches in the clubhouse with his knee in a heavy brace. "I kept going to my left and I felt it pop."

Calero was 1-1 with one save and a 2.82 ERA in 26 games this season, giving up 12 runs on 29 hits in 38 1-3 innings. He had 51 strikeouts and walked 22.

He made one start on June 16, striking out nine in five innings against Milwaukee.

"This is a huge blow for us," manager Tony La Russa. "He was so versatile. You're talking about a guy who was a spot starter, who could close, who could do a lot of things for us. This is a big injury."

Morris won't start tonight

The Cardinals have scratched right-hander Matt Morris from his scheduled start tonight against San Francisco.

The Cardinals called the move "precautionary" because of tenderness in Morris' right shoulder.

The team will call up right-hander Dan Haren from Triple-A Memphis to make his major league debut, while Morris' next start was pushed back to Saturday.

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