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Cardinals’ Yadier Molina out at least month after groin surgery

Veteran catcher suffers ‘a traumatic hematoma’ after being hit with a 102-mph foul ball.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals veteran catcher Yadier Molina is expected to be sidelined for at least a month after undergoing emergency surgery on his groin, St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Molina sustained “a traumatic hematoma that needed immediate medical attention.“ The injury happened during the ninth inning of Saturday’s game against the Cubs after the Cubs’ Kris Bryant fouled off a 102-mph fastball from Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks that nailed him in the groin area. It took several minutes for Molina to catch his breath before he eventually was escorted off the field.

It will be tough for the first-place Cardinals to not have Molina’s presence in the lineup.

The 35-year-old Molina has played in over 130 games in eight of the last nine seasons. During that span, he has been an All-Star eight times, a Gold Glove winner seven times, and a top-five finisher in the NL MVP voting twice. This year, he has slashed .272/.292/.456 with six home runs, 17 RBI and 31 hits in 30 games. Defensively, he has helped the Cardinals’ pitching staff post a combined 3.36 ERA, good for third best in the NL.

Ortiz says Carson Kelly, the Cardinals’ top catching prospect, is in St. Louis and is expected to be activated for Sunday night’s game.