ST. LOUIS (AP/KSDK) - St. Louis Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina will undergo surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and will be sidelined eight to 12 weeks.
The Cardinals recalled catcher Audrey Perez from Triple-A Memphis before Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh.
Molina was injured Wednesday when he planted his hand for balance after sliding feet-first into third base in the second inning. He caught another half-inning before Tony Cruz hit for him in the third.
Molina was voted to his sixth straight NL All-Star team Sunday and is a starter for the fourth time. He was hitting .287 with seven homers and 30 RBIs.
Cardinals fans are hoping the rest of the team steps up to the plate in Yadi Molina's absence.
Fans are obviously concerned about the rest of the season, so we went to an expert to help explain why Molina is expected to be out for 8-12 weeks.
"From the video, the replay it didn't look that serious, I guess it don't take much for a thumb," said Cards fan Jeremy Colvett.
Fans were stunned to learn Yadier Molina might not be returning until September.
Plastic surgeon with Saint Louis University Bruce Kraemer says it looks like Molina tore the ulnar collateral ligament which holds the bones of the thumb together. He says at first it probably just felt like a sprain.
"As we are putting our hand down, once you start having to go more like this there's a lot of stress and strain placed on the hand, so if I am falling forward then it really puts all the force right there and your rupture the ligament," he said.
Baseball fans understand injuries are part of the game, but the star player out for 8-12 weeks.
"It's a very long time, hopefully eight and not 12," said fan Jason Gertken.
"We came here tonight to see him and it's his birthday and he's even got the Yadi jersey on," said Tim Dufer "The Cardinals are a good team and they will figure out how to make it through without him."
Cards fans have faith the team will weather the storm and put them in playoff position, until Yadi makes his return.
"He's what the Cardinals are now and he's the face of the team and the face of the city," said Dufer.
Dr. Kraemer told us this type of surgery is normally quick, but it's the healing process that could take a while, especially for a baseball player.