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Cardinals' Yadier Molina could return from thumb surgery this weekend

Cardinals' Yadier Molina could return from thumb surgery this weekend Photo:

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina could return to the team as early as this weekend, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold reports.

Molina has been sidelined since early July after having surgery to repair a ligament in his right thumb. He will begin a rehab assignment on Wednesday with Double-A Springfield.

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He is expected to play five or six innings behind the plate tonight while in Springfield.

“I’m in really good shape,” Molina told The Springfield News-Leader. “I’m happy with the way everything is going. I can’t wait for (Wednesday).”

The 32-year-old was batting .287 with seven home runs and 30 RBI before the injury. St. Louis signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski to fill in for Molina behind the plate.

The Cardinals are 71-60 and 1.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the N.L. Central. They have a 3.5 game lead in the Wild Card standings.

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- Paul Palladino

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