Matheny to undergo procedure in St. Louis

JUPITER, Fla. – Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will return to St. Louis to have a procedure done on his ailing back Monday.

Matheny, who has dealt with severe back pain for several days, will fly to St. Louis following Sunday’s exhibition game against the New York Mets and have surgery Monday morning. He’s expected to miss Monday and Tuesday’s games but return to Jupiter during an off day on Wednesday.

“It’s not going to go away unless we do something about it,” Matheny said Sunday morning. “Hopefully this will take care of it. Worse case, we’d have to do something more dramatic later on but they seem pretty confident this will take care of it.”

Matheny will have a minor procedure known as a microdiscectomy to remove a participle that came in contact with a nerve following a ruptured disc in his back. The issue first came public when he didn’t travel with the team to a game on March 1 in Kissimmee.

He had an epidural shot last Monday to relieve the pain but said it’s already worn off. He quickly left the clubhouse following Thursday’s game to get X-rays before deciding that surgery was the best option.

“We tried to see how long the shot would last and see if that would take care of the inflammation and it didn’t,” Matheny said. “There’s still a fragment that’s stuck in a spot where it’s getting to the nerve and affecting what’s going on back there.

“They didn’t give me any kind of odds or percentages but they feel pretty confident. The procedure is really improved and less evasive and they seem pretty confident.”

Matheny is scheduled to miss two games but the first, Monday’s matchup in Tampa against the New York Yankees, will be televised in St. Louis. He said he plans to listen to Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves on the radio.

“It will be nice to get it over with and move on,” Matheny said.

Bench coach Mike Aldrete will serve as the acting manager until he returns.