Yadier Molina, no structural damage in knee, could be back Tuesday

The news is good on Yadier Molina's right knee. For now. (USATSI)
The news is good on Yadier Molina's right knee. For now. (USATSI)

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As noted in this space, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on Saturday underwent an MRI on his ailing right knee. Now, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the MRI has revealed no structural damage and that Molina has been diagnosed with inflammation. As Goold notes, he could be back in the lineup as early as Tuesday.

That's good news for the Cardinals, of course, as Molina, the NL All-Star starter at catcher, is batting a robust .346/.388/.490 in 81 games while being regarded as the best defensive catcher in baseball and leading the majors in innings caught.

While this doesn't appear to be anything serious, I'll say again that even a mild knee malady in a high-workload catcher like Molina is a source of concern. That's why this situation bears monitoring. Considering his broad base of skills and the demanding, premium position he plays, is there a more irreplaceable player in baseball than Molina? That question borders on being rhetorical. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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