Wong still sidelined, but he believes not for long

Cardinals second baseman to test injured calf again on Friday

Wong still sidelined, but he believes not for long

CINCINNATI -- A calf injury that the Cardinals first described as so minor Kolten Wong could have played through it has now kept the second baseman out of the starting lineup for a fourth straight day. But after testing his calf out running for the first time since Sunday, Wong felt optimistic that he'd be back on the field by the weekend.

"They told me we're not going to push it," Wong said on Thursday before the Cardinals played the Reds. "We're too far in the season where it does not make sense for me to come back too quick and risk injury. If I can fix this injury and get it cleared and finish the year strong, that's a better option than trying to push through it and do more damage than good."

Wong acknowledged that an MRI showed he is dealing with a slight tear in his left calf. Wong believes he suffered the injury going after an infield hit in Sunday's loss. He finished out that game without issue but then woke up on Monday unable to move his leg.

Wong felt it tighten up even more when he took a pinch-hit at-bat on Monday. He struck out but hobbled to first when the ball got past the catcher.

"When I went into the box, the first leg kick I had, I fell over," Wong said. "I didn't think it was that bad until everything started speeding up and that adrenaline kicking in made it just lock up again."

Wong, who did resume taking batting practice with the team on Thursday, expects to test his calf with more intense running drills on Friday.

Worth noting

• A compromised Randal Grichuk did not start again on Thursday, one day after the Cardinals put him in the field even though he was unable to throw anywhere near full effort. He was not an option for the series opener, however, as Thursday had been prescribed as a 'no-throw' day in his rehab program. He will resume throwing on Friday as he continues to work his way back from a right elbow injury.

• The Cardinals plan to activate reliever Matt Belisle (right elbow inflammation) during this series, possibly as early as Friday. Belisle, who recovered well after throwing a simulated game on Wednesday, spent much of Thursday afternoon watching video of Cincinnati's hitters as part of his scouting preparation.

Matt Holliday (right quad strain) increased his mobility work on Thursday with several sets of sprints. Unless Holliday incurs a setback, he is likely to be activated from the disabled list at some point during the Cardinals' 10-game road trip.

Adam Wainwright has been nominated by his teammates for the 2015 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which goes to a player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community most inspire others to higher levels of achievement. Online voting at www.mlbplayers.com began on Thursday and will continue through Sunday to determine the six finalists, one from each division.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.