09/26/09 8:30 PM ET
Pujols OK after suffering cramp Friday
Cards slugger stayed in game despite left calf soreness
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
Pujols explained that the issue was simply a cramp, and that he was good to go. He remained in Friday night's game despite the discomfort, which he felt while running out an eighth-inning single. Manager Tony La Russa said he didn't hesitate to write Pujols into his lineup on Saturday, and Pujols was moving around without any trouble in the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon.
"I wasn't scared," Pujols said. "It was just cramping. I would have been scared if I would have popped it. I think it was more cramping than anything else."
According to Pujols, the area of discomfort was low in his leg, near his Achilles' tendon.
If Pujols wasn't scared, plenty of other people were. It looked a bit unsettling to see the two-time National League MVP pull up and gingerly hop into first base on Friday night. But after he was checked out by head athletic trainer Barry Weinberg and La Russa, he was cleared to remain in the game.
"What I'm certain about is that after nine years together, he is dead-on as far as honesty about how he feels and what he can tolerate," La Russa said.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.