Albert Pujols-1B-Cardinals Mar. 6 - 1:29 pm et
According to Cardinals team doctor George Paletta, Albert Pujols 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 -- all of which have likely developed as a reaction to the ligament tear.
Sounds about right. Paletta said the ligament's condition has not appreciably worsened since it was first injured in 2003, but the surrounding issues have become somewhat more pronounced over that time. Still, neither Paletta nor Dr. James Andrews recommended surgery over the winter. Pujols will likely need Tommy John surgery at some point, but it's not going to happen until the ligament blows out or the surrounding issues make playing too difficult. As things stand now, there's little reason to think the elbow will be more of an issue than it was last year or the year before.