Molina to see hand specialist Wednesday

Veteran Cardinals leader unable to play in Game 4 of NLDS

Molina to see hand specialist Wednesday

CHICAGO -- Catcher Yadier Molina, whose left thumb injury was exacerbated by him playing the first three games of the National League Division Series, will meet with a hand specialist on Wednesday to determine if he will need surgery to repair torn ligaments.

Molina initially injured his thumb while making a swipe tag of Anthony Rizzo during the Cardinals' Sept. 20 game at Wrigley Field. He rested for 18 days before taking the field in Game 1 on Friday, and then he lasted two full games and five innings of another before losing the ability to grip a bat or squeeze his catcher's mitt. Molina went 1-for-8 at the plate.

There is concern that he didn't just re-aggravate the injury, but that he made it worse. In that case, surgery would likely be necessary.

"It was pretty bad," Molina said of his status on Tuesday. "I tried to do everything. I tried everything. That's why I couldn't play today."

Molina was scheduled to meet with a team doctor on Wednesday regardless of the Game 4 outcome. Had the Cardinals pushed to a Game 5 vs. the Cubs, the meeting would have determined his availability for games later in the postseason. As it is, Molina should have more than enough time to recover from the injury -- whether surgery is required or not -- before the start of next season.

Surgery to repair torn ligaments in Molina's right thumb last season kept him out seven weeks.

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.