Sports

Cardinals’ Pujols cleared to return

Albert Pujols is more than just one of the best players in baseball. He’s also an incredibly rapid healer.

The St. Louis Cardinals activated their three-time NL MVP off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, a month ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken left wrist.

Pujols was not in the lineup Tuesday against Cincinnati, but manager Tony La Russa said he expected Pujols would be in the lineup today.

“Thrilled,” La Russa said. “We all are. It’s about as good a break as we could catch.”

The NL Central leaders initially believed Pujols would be out six weeks after getting injured June 19 in a collision at first base with the Royals’ Wilson Betemit. The Cardinals thought Pujols would be back in early August.

Tuesday was the first day Pujols was eligible to return from the DL. He said he’d predicted 15 days would be enough.

“Does it surprise you?” the star first baseman asked. “It doesn’t surprise me. A lot of people praying for me, and I believe all the prayers are being answered.

“That’s a good way to describe it.”

RED SOX TRADE CAMERON TO MARLINS

The Boston Red Sox traded outfielder Mike Cameron to the Florida Marlins on Tuesday, less than a week after cutting the three-time Gold Glove winner.

The Red Sox sent the 38-year-old former Mariners center fielder and cash to the Marlins for either a player to be named or cash.

Cameron hit .149 with three home runs and nine RBI in 33 games for Boston this season. The Red Sox designated him for assignment last Thursday.

DODGERS WANT MLB DOCUMENTS

The Los Angeles Dodgers are asking a Delaware judge to order Major League Baseball to turn over documents related to the league’s opposition to the team’s proposed bankruptcy plan.

The team is seeking records it believes will show the league’s lack of good faith in dealing with the Dodgers.

SHORT HOPS

Indians All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was replaced in the fourth inning Tuesday against the Yankees because of an apparent ankle injury. … Mets shortstop Jose Reyes continued treatment for a strained left hamstring and was sidelined for a third straight game. … Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was unavailable for the second consecutive game because of a sore right arm muscle. … Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was held out of the lineup with a bruised back muscle after being hit by a pitch from Toronto’s Brandon Morrow on Monday. … Toronto shortstop Yunel Escobar was a late scratch from the lineup, missing his fourth straight game since being hit by a pitch in the left hand. … Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino will have his injured right thumb examined by a hand specialist. … The Padres placed starter Clayton Richard on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder and recalled reliever Luke Gregerson from Triple-A Tucson.

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