It was annoying, trying to find the right brace. And the thought of trying to pitch with the cumbersome apparatus didn't fill Isringhausen with enthusiasm. But it was all much, much better than going on the disabled list.
After consulting with Dr. George Paletta late Friday night, Isringhausen learned that his right knee strain will not require a DL stint. He will rest for a couple of days, wear a brace on the knee and, hopefully, return to action sometime in the coming week.
"[Paletta] said there was a very minute chance that I would hurt it more," Isringhausen said. "So I'll just put a brace on it and take some Tylenol."
If Isringhausen's down time had looked like it would be more than a few days, then he would have headed to the DL. The Cardinals are pitching with a heavily taxed bullpen, so if they had to do without the right-hander for long, they would have shelved him and called up an available arm. That is not expected to be the case, though.
Isringhausen explained that he doesn't feel much pain in the joint. It's not entirely clear how well he will fare with a brace on his knee, though he professed optimism that it won't be a significant problem.
"Time will tell, whatever they do -- put a brace on it or tape it or whatever -- when he goes out there how normal he can be," manager Tony La Russa said.
On Monday, before the Cardinals play the Mets at Busch Stadium, Isringhausen expects to test out the knee and the brace by throwing in the bullpen. If that goes well, he probably will be available shortly after the session.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.