VIERA, Fla. — St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will have an epidural shot Monday to try to help relieve severe pain stemming from a ruptured disc in his back.
Matheny eventually could be forced to undergo surgery if the condition does not improve. The pain increased in recent days when the disc ruptured, and one of the particles began pushing up against a nerve.
“Today is going to be a rough one,” Matheny said Sunday before his team’s spring training game against the Washington Nationals.
Asked about the possibility of needing a procedure to current the issue, Matheny said: “We’re going to try the shot tomorrow, and, hopefully, that will take some of the inflammation out and get the particle off the nerve and take out some of the swelling. But if not, I think that’s something, yeah, that we’ll have to consider.”
Matheny also dealt with a bad bout of food poisoning the past few days, but that appears to have subsided. He missed a game in Kissimmee on Friday against the Houston Astros but returned to the dugout Saturday.
“I’m glad they found out what’s going on,” Matheny said. “I didn’t know what it was, but I think they all knew some of the symptoms and with my leg kind of going numb and that sort of stuff that it was something more than just a bulge.
“It’s been bothering me for a while. I’ve had problems for a while, a long time off and on and been put on a program to kind of strengthen it, but something set it off and sent it in a bad direction. I don’t know exactly what it was.”
Matheny said he has a friend who’s a back specialist and knows of a couple doctors at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis who are “highly respected in that area, so they are sending them over some information.”
The second-year manager moved slowly during batting practice Sunday and leaned against a screen or wall whenever possible.