MRI on Rolen's knee reveals irritation but no damage

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- An MRI exam on Scott Rolen's sore left knee on Tuesday revealed joint irritation, the St. Louis Cardinals All-Star third baseman said.

Rolen, who was batting .346 with 18 homers and a major league-leading 80 RBIs, does not expect to miss any playing time. The knee has been bothering him for about a month and it's mainly affected his base-running.

Trainer Barry Weinberg said the injury has improved in recent days.

"He's handling it all right, and it's actually getting a little better," Weinberg said. "He's pretty active so he roughs it up a little bit and it flames up, and then it quiets down."

Rolen, who led NL players in voting for the All-Star Game, could use a few days off. But he intends to play in the game.

"It's manageable," Rolen said.

Rolen made his 81st start Tuesday, more than any other Cardinals player.

Rolen said he and Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals' physician, discussed a series of injections that would cushion the knee. But he's holding off, at least for now.

Last year, Rolen said the knee was a problem for a two-week period last year, and then the pain went away. That gave him hope that he won't have to play with this injury for too long.

"I was struggling bad," he said. "Then all of a sudden it was gone."

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