Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols told MLB.com on Sunday there’s a good chance he will never have to undergo Tommy John surgery on a troublesome right elbow that now is "95 percent healed" and said he’s ready for a big season.
Pujols, a three-time National League MVP, has been battling an elbow problem since 2003 amid predictions he eventually would have to have ligament replacement surgery on the joint. But two lesser surgeries seem to have eased the pain and lessened the need for more serious procedures.
The first was a surgery that transposed his ulnar nerve in late 2008. The second came in the offseason when he had bone spurs removed from his elbow.
Pujols said he now believes the elbow will be much less of a problem, both physically and mentally.
"I think we played it the right way," he told the Web site. "Both of the doctors (Dr. James Andrews and Dr. George Paletta) have experience. It’s good news, Dr. Andrews telling me, ‘Probably, you will never have to worry about the Tommy John.’ That’s good news. I feel great, and I can see the difference."