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10/18/06 2:12 AM ET

Eckstein dealing with more aches

Shortstop injures shoulder and fingers in Game 5 victory

ST. LOUIS -- David Eckstein sustained, and played through, two separate injuries on Tuesday night, finishing Game 5 of the National League Championship Series all the same.

In the first inning, Eckstein dove for a ball hit by Paul Lo Duca and felt some pain in his left shoulder upon landing. He retired Jose Reyes at second base on the play before being examined by the Cardinals' training staff. Eckstein remained in the game, slapping two base hits and scoring a run.

The shortstop wasn't done being nicked up, though. In the eighth, when Eckstein tried to put down a suicide squeeze bunt, he was hit on the fingers of his right hand by a pitch from Mets reliever Guillermo Mota. Again, Eckstein remained in the game, playing the ninth on defense. Still, the club is concerned, and Eckstein underwent examinations on each pained area before the team's flight to New York. More information on his condition is expected to be available on Wednesday.

"He hurt his fingers on the bunt, they got pinched," said head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg. "And he hurt his shoulder on the dive. So he got beat up today. They're both concerns. It seemed like the fingers were OK 'till the end, but the shoulder, we'll have to see how it is tomorrow."

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Weinberg tentatively characterized Eckstein's shoulder condition as "most likely just a sprain." He and the club hope that Eckstein has only bruising in his fingers.

"As long as nothing is fractured, it's a matter of soreness," Weinberg said. "And with David, a matter of soreness is insignificant."

It's been a painful year for Eckstein, who missed time with a concussion, a strained left oblique muscle and a hamstring strain.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.