SAN FRANCISCO -- Scott Rolen had his bags packed to spend a couple of days in Detroit as a member of the National League All-Star team, but after Sunday's 4-3 win over the Giants, the St. Louis Cardinals third baseman announced he was withdrawing from the Midsummer Classic to protect his troubled left shoulder.
"I see getting voted in as a sign of honor and respect," said Rolen, who was the fans' choice despite missing the last three weeks of May and the first two-plus weeks of June after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a labral tear.
"Me not going at this point I certainly hope is not taken as a sign of disrespect to the fans or to Major League Baseball," Rolen said.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who will be moonlighting this week as the NL manager for the All-Star Game, said he and his medical staff had been talking to Rolen for 10 days or so, trying to get him not to risk further injury by playing in Detroit.
"For a week and a half, the trainers, the doctors and I wanted him to rest it," La Russa said. "We wanted him to take the four days off, and finally we talked to the league and he's going to be replaced."
He'll be replaced by Houston third baseman Morgan Ensberg, who leads all NL third basemen with 24 homers and 65 RBIs and is in the top 10 in average with a .290 mark.
Rolen, meanwhile, will be heading back to St. Louis.
He said he returned to the field against the wishes of some medical advisors.
"The last three or four days, I started feeling it," Rolen said. "[Saturday] especially was very difficult. It was the first time in my mind that maybe it would put in jeopardy the second half if I played [the All-Star Game]."
Rolen still hadn't made up his mind what to do during the break until shortly before Sunday's game.
"In all fairness to the staff, I asked what the situation was and how everybody felt about it," Rolen said. "The recommendation was I take all four days and rest and not play the game, and I can't argue with that."
Tony Kuttner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.