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Rafael Furcal likely out for season with bum elbow, would need Tommy John surgery

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MRI results on the right elbow of St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal showed a "significant" tear in the ulnar collateral ligament, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday. Even a Grade I tear would need six weeks to recover, but Tommy John ligament elbow ligament replacement surgery would require 6-8 months of rehab time.

Furcal says he heard or felt a pop in his elbow making a throw Thursday. Cards manager Mike Matheny said Furcal will receive another medical examination before a course of action is taken:

"There has been some damage to the ligament; it's just a matter of how those results are viewed," Matheny said.

The Cards, who lead the second NL wild card spot, put Furcal on the 15-day DL and inserted Pete Kozma into the starting lineup.

A starting player on the World Series team of 2011 and an All-Star in July, Furcal hit .264/.325/.346 with five home runs and 12 steals in 121 games — only the second time since 2007 he has been healthy enough play in at least that many games. St. Louis trails Cincinnati by 9 1/2 games in the NL Central after falling to Washington on Friday night. The Cards remain in the thick of the wild card hunt.

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