JUPITER, Fla. -- St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will leave the team and return to St. Louis to have back surgery Monday in order to address pain that has persisted for several weeks.
The Cardinals manager has a ruptured disc and particles from the damaged disc are pressed against the sciatic nerve, causing discomfort in his back and numbness to shoot through his leg. He received an epidural ?last week to provide comfort, but relief proved to be fleeting. After consultation with a doctor in St. Louis, Matheny will have a procedure, which is called microdiscectomy, to remove the fragment.
Matheny will fly to St. Louis after Sunday's exhibition game. The club expects him to miss games Monday and Tuesday before returning late Wednesday, which is an off day.
If cleared, he'll rejoin the team before Thursday's game.
The club hopes that the procedure will address Matheny's pain without an extended absence.
In Matheny's absence, bench coach Mike Aldrete will serve as manager for the road games against the New York Yankees on Monday and Atlanta on Tuesday. Chris Maloney will shift to bench coach from his duties at first base. Pop Warner, the club's Class AAA manager, will be the first-base coach.
Matheny missed a Cardinals' road game on March 1 because of food poisoning and the pain in his back made it difficult to travel. Since receiving the epidural, he has made a long bus trip and found that he could manage the pain while standing up. Sitting and moving from a seated position was difficult.
(c)2013 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at www.stltoday.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services