Cardinals' Furcal suffers serious elbow injury

St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal suffered a serious elbow injury in last night's game and will likely miss the remainder of the season, report STL Today and Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Furcal suffered the injury fielding a ground ball in the sixth inning of last night's game. The 34-year-old fielded the ball cleanly and recorded a force out at second base, but immediately grabbed his elbow in pain following the throw.

The switch-hitting shortstop told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com he felt a succession of "pops" and tingling in his elbow on three separate throws in the inning, and that he has been unable to completely straighten his arm since.

The Cardinals have tentatively diagnosed Furcal with a right elbow strain, but it is likely the injury is much worse. A tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow usually calls for Tommy Surgery surgery, which would sideline Furcal for seven to nine months.

The injury-prone Furcal, who has appeared in over one hundred games for the first time since 2009 this season, was hitting .265/.326/.347 with five home runs in one hundred twenty-one games. Signed to a two-year, $13 million contract, Furcal is owed $7 million next year.

Daniel Descalso, 25, will likely take over the starting job at shortstop in Furcal's absence.

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