ST. LOUIS -- Two days after being forced out of a game early due to a right foot contusion, Carlos Beltran talked his way back into the Cardinals' lineup for Tuesday's series opener against Pittsburgh.
Beltran, who left Busch Stadium on Sunday with a bruised and swollen foot after fouling a ball off it during his third at-bat, said he woke up Tuesday feeling considerably better. The bruised area is still painful, Beltran said, but not enough to keep him sidelined for this critical series against the Pirates.
"I really want to be out there," Beltran said. "I know how important this series is, and I also understand that, right now, there are not too many ballplayers out there feeling 100 percent. I just feel like I can be out there and that I can compete. ... It bothers me, but once the game starts, I don't think about it. I want to be out there and help the team."
Beltran, who benefited from Monday's off-day, said he experienced only limited discomfort with his foot when he took swings in the batting cage on Tuesday. The bigger concern for the right fielder is his mobility.
Asked how this injury compared to the broken toe he suffered in Spring Training, Beltran said that the foot injury is less bothersome.
"This is something that is going to be there maybe for a week or two," Beltran said. "Like I said, for me, it's not time to think about it. It's time to move forward. There are a lot of guys here playing through injuries. This time of the year, no one feels perfect. ... Thank God I had a day off yesterday, because yesterday it was very, very sore and very painful. But I woke up today feeling a lot better. I'm happy where I am right now."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.