Pujols to pass on elbow surgery

March 6, 2008 at 6:38 PM

JUPITER, Fla., March 6 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Cardinals said Thursday that star first baseman Albert Pujols will not undergo surgery on his ailing right elbow this season.

The six-time All-Star needs "Tommy John" reconstructive surgery, which would sideline him for all of 2008.

Team physician Dr. George Paletta thinks the slugger would be better off waiting until the end of this season.

"If his elbow condition can't be successfully managed and gives him significant problems again, then I think the horse is out of the barn and he should probably consider having the whole thing done," Paletta said on the team's Web site. "In December, when he saw (Dr. James) Andrews (in Birmingham, Ala.), a reconstruction was going to cost him all of 2008, so I think Albert made a wise decision."

Pujols, 28, has a torn ligament, bone spurs, arthritis and swelling -- all from a minor injury in 2003.

In seven seasons, he has batted .332 with 282 home runs and 861 RBI.

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