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07/13/08 1:41 PM ET

Ankiel sits, but ankle injury isn't serious

La Russa uses precaution with slugging Cards outfielder

PITTSBURGH -- Cards outfielder Rick Ankiel left Saturday night's game with a sprained left ankle after slipping while running out a groundout. But the slugger doesn't expect to miss much time, especially with three days off coming up thanks to the All-Star break.

"I'm fine," Ankiel said. "Just a slight sprain -- nothing serious -- I could play if I had to."

Redbirds manager Tony La Russa decided to sit Ankiel in Sunday's game at PNC Park because of the threat of inclement weather.

"He rolled his ankle," La Russa offered. "He's moving decent. I just think who knows what that weather is going to be like out there and even if the weather is not a problem, he's got to run the bases and swing and chase balls, and I don't think it makes sense to run the risk that Thursday [when the Cardinals return from the break] he would be hobbling. He's available, and if we need him we can use him."

George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.