ST. LOUIS -- Scott Rolen's sprained left shoulder likely will keep him from accompanying the St. Louis Cardinals to New York at the start of a nine-game trip starting Friday.
The third baseman was injured in a collision of 240-pound players at first base with Hee-Seop Choi of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. After a mostly sleepless night, Rolen wasn't optimistic about his immediate prospects.
"I don't feel any better," Rolen said. "If anything I probably feel a little worse."
An examination by team physician Dr. George Paletta was scheduled around game time Wednesday night, with medical tests to follow today.
John Mabry replaced Rolen at third base on Wednesday in the third game of a four-game series against the Dodgers. That's as far as St. Louis manager Tony La Russa wanted to peer into the future.
"I'm just trying to get through today," La Russa said. "I don't know if he's going to be out for a while. One thing at a time."
La Russa said if Rolen was going to be sidelined only a week, he likely would not place him on the 15-day disabled list and play a man short. If it's going to be a longer-term injury, the Cardinals could recall Scott Seabol or Hector Luna, who spent all last year with the team after being picked in the Rule 5 draft, from Class AAA Memphis.
Plus, Mabry and Abraham Nunez could also see time at third base.
"Abe is doing a terrific job for us wherever you play him," La Russa said.
Rolen hit his fifth home run an inning before the injury, caused by an errant throw after a comebacker by pitcher Scott Erickson that pulled Choi into foul territory. Rolen is a six-time Gold Glove winner at third and has batted fourth or fifth with a .257 average and 20 RBIs.
The present injury is unrelated to the separated left shoulder that sidelined Rolen in the 2002 playoffs. The team doesn't think Rolen will be out for an extended period.
"It's the same shoulder but it's a different part of the shoulder," trainer Barry Weinberg said. "It's a different injury than he had and definitely his pain is not near what it was the last time, nor is his incapacity to do anything.
"You're not comparing apples to apples."