Molina looks to return Tuesday

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina believes a little rest is all he needs after an MRI exam on his right knee showed only inflammation. He’s hopeful of being back in the lineup on Tuesday.

"Everything came back negative and that’s a relief," Molina said Sunday. "A couple days and I’ll be ready to go."

Molina, who topped NL vote-getters for the All-Star Game, was certain he’d be ready for that game. He said the knee had been bothering him for a month but felt worse Friday, especially when he ran, "so that scared me." So the team sent him for medical tests.

"Yeah, it’s definitely something that’s worrisome, such a valuable piece of our team," manager Mike Matheny said. "There was no question about it, it was best to get it looked at."

Matheny said it would be a day to day situation. The Cardinals have Monday off.

Molina leads the National League with a .346 average, was tied for the league lead with 26 doubles and among the league leaders with 106 hits. He’s played in 81 of the first 86 games and led major league catchers in innings.

Backup Tony Cruz made his ninth start Sunday against the Marlins.