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07/29/09 8:46 PM ET

Cards' DeRosa working past wrist issue

Infielder feels effects of injury, but 'it's not very painful'

ST. LOUIS -- Mark DeRosa's left wrist injury hasn't completely healed. But it's clearly pretty tolerable for the Cardinals infielder, who has six home runs in 46 at-bats since he was activated from the disabled list shortly after the All-Star break.

DeRosa injured a tendon sheath in his wrist shortly after St. Louis acquired him in trade from the Indians. He spent 17 days on the DL and was activated with at least as much hope as expectation for his performance. Wrist injuries can be killers for hitters, and it was an open question how effective DeRosa could be after 2 1/2 weeks of rest and rehab.

That question has been answered emphatically. But DeRosa said Wednesday the injury isn't gone. It's just manageable.

"I wouldn't say it's behind me," he said. "I'll re-assess it at the end of the year. I feel it every time I swing, but it's not very painful. It's just a strange feeling. I can't even explain it. It's like my knuckles are cracking when I hit the ball. That's what it feels like. It's something I've gotten used to in the last two or three weeks, and as long as it's not affecting me on the field, it's not a problem."

The Indians dealt DeRosa as it became steadily clearer that they were unlikely to be a factor in the American League Central race. On Wednesday, Cleveland took a much larger step in that same direction, dealing ace Cliff Lee to the Phillies. DeRosa, who had hoped to be part of a contender in Cleveland, was one of the first to talk to Lee once the deal was done.

"I actually called him," DeRosa said. "He hadn't heard the news yet. I said, 'It's coming across the ticker that you got traded to the Phillies.' And he was sitting in the clubhouse in Anaheim with Kerry Wood and said nothing had been told to him yet. Cliff's a legitimate No. 1 starter. I hate the fact that he's going to Philly, but at the same time, I'm happy for him because he deserves to be pitching in some big games. He was a great teammate."

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