JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals scheduled a Monday consultation between head team physician Dr. George Paletta and shortstop Rafael Furcal, who has been shut down indefinitely due to pain in his right elbow.
An MRI taken on Friday revealed that Furcal is dealing with inflammation around his ulnar collateral ligament, which sustained a Grade 2 tear last August. Paletta will advise Furcal and the Cardinals on how to proceed now that the shortstop has had a setback in his recovery from that injury.
"I want to be in there, but I can't do it right now," Furcal said on Monday morning, before his visit with Dr. Paletta. "I don't know. I know I'm feeling bad. I cannot throw a ball. I cannot swing a bat."
Furcal will seek an additional opinion on Wednesday from Dr. James Andrews before committing to a rehab path. He is hopeful that he can avoid surgery, which doesn't seem like it will be a recommendation, given that there is no evidence of another tear in the ligament.
Though Furcal has been limited since arriving in Spring Training, it was his attempt to push his elbow harder on Thursday that appears to have backfired. He has not engaged in baseball activities since. It seems highly unlikely that Furcal will be ready to play by Opening Day, though he did not want to estimate how long he might be out.
"You never know," Furcal said. "I wish I was ready to play right now in Spring Training. In my mind, I want to play, but they say I have to take a rest. We have to wait to see what the doctor is going to say."
Rzepczynski won't pitch until Thursday at earliest
JUPITER, Fla. -- Bothered by mild left biceps soreness, reliever Marc Rzepczynski will not pitch in another Grapefruit League game until Thursday at the earliest. He had initially been scheduled to make his fourth appearance of the spring on Sunday.
Rzepczynski said the soreness is a regular Spring Training nuisance for him, though it happened a little earlier than usual. It surfaced on Friday, after Rzepczynski made a one-inning appearance against Houston. He had trouble commanding his sinker throughout his outing that day.
"I threw out my mechanics a little bit the other day, which forced me to work more," Rzepczynski said. "How I explain it is: Think about going to the gym and all you do is [work out your] arms. Then, the next day you feel sore. I get that every once and a while when I pitch."
Rzepczynski did play catch at 120 feet on Monday and said he felt fine doing so. He expects to be cleared to return to the mound later this week.
Homers for Health returns in 2013
JUPITER, Fla. -- Homers for Health, a co-initiative between the Cardinals and the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation, is returning in 2013 with additional wrinkles to the pledge program, which benefits a St. Louis-area children's medical center.
Matt Holliday and David Freese will return as co-chairs for the program; it was announced on Monday that Allen Craig will join them in the fundraising effort. In 2012, the Homers for Health program raised $480,000. Those donations came through a program that had fans make a pledge of 25 cents or more for each home run hit by the Cardinals during the season.
This year, individuals willing to pledge $6 or more per home run will receive name recognition on a commemorative No. 6 display at Cardinal Glennon. That display will be a tribute to the late Stan Musial, who was instrumental in past fundraising efforts for Cardinal Glennon.
This year's Homers for Health program will also feature an April 8 Game Ball Relay, during which the official game ball for the Cardinals' home opener will be carried from Chesterfield, Mo., to Busch Stadium by various individuals.
To make a pledge or find out more information about the Homers for Health initiative, visit glennon.org.
Paddleboarding helped Jay prepare for camp
JUPITER, Fla. -- Center fielder Jon Jay picked up a new hobby over the offseason, a hobby that he said could have a payoff on the conditioning side.
A lifelong Miami resident, Jay tried his hand at paddleboarding, a water sport in which a rider lies on a board and uses his or her arms to maneuver through waves. Jay bought two paddleboards, he said, and made regular visits to the Atlantic Ocean to experiment with them.
But what began merely as a form of active entertainment became a workout tool for the Cardinals outfielder.
"It's a great core workout, so it allowed me to work out and have a good time at the same time," Jay said. "Even before I left to come to camp, instead of being so much in the weight room, I tried to do more paddleboarding. It worked out well. I knew I would be in the weight room a lot when I got here, and so that broke the workouts up and still provided good core work."
• Freese exited the game in the seventh inning on Monday after flipping into the stands trying to make a catch in foul territory. He was taken out for precautionary reasons but said afterward that he's not worried about any lingering effects from landing on his tailbone.
"The gate didn't save me," Freese said, with an ice pack wrapped on his back. "I took a spill."
• Put on a conservative spring program after dealing with some right shoulder soreness early in Spring Training, Craig resumed throwing a few days ago. Asked when he might make his spring debut at first base, Craig said, "hopefully soon."
Craig served as the Cardinals' designated hitter on Monday. It marked his fifth DH appearance in Grapefruit League play.
• Mike Matheny managed Monday's game after receiving an epidural shot in the morning to address numbness and pain from a ruptured disc in his back. Matheny is hopeful that the injection will decrease the pain enough to allow him to avoid a more invasive procedure at this time.
• Jay will serve as the Cardinals' representative in the Major League Baseball Players Association this season.
• The Cardinals trimmed their roster by three after Monday's game, as they re-assigned catcher Adam Ehrlich, catcher Jesus Montero and infielder Starlin Rodriguez to Minor League camp.
• The Cardinals will not hold any activities at their complex on Tuesday, which is the first of three off-days for the club this spring.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.