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Rest important as Fowler returns to full health

Center fielder has been playing through several injuries, taking only one DL stint
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Less than 24 hours after being removed from the 10-day disabled list, Dexter Fowler is taking a scheduled day off on Saturday. Giving his body time to heal is important for the center fielder, who has been playing through several different injuries throughout the season.

Although the 12 games he missed from June 25 through Thursday to heal up his right heel spur represented his only DL stint, Fowler played through multiple injuries this year, including to his heel and shoulder.

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ST. LOUIS -- Less than 24 hours after being removed from the 10-day disabled list, Dexter Fowler is taking a scheduled day off on Saturday. Giving his body time to heal is important for the center fielder, who has been playing through several different injuries throughout the season.

Although the 12 games he missed from June 25 through Thursday to heal up his right heel spur represented his only DL stint, Fowler played through multiple injuries this year, including to his heel and shoulder.

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"It's probably some ignorance on my part to just keep playing. Obviously I want to be out there, but ... you got to listen to your body," Fowler said. "I could have probably been on the DL with all this stuff, so I end up playing through it and obviously some of my production has suffered, but at the end of the day that's just the type of guy I am."

After hitting a home run in Friday night's game, Fowler now ties Matt Carpenter for the team lead (14), despite playing in 13 fewer games than Carpenter has this year. He is hitting .333 (15-for-45) with six homers and 15 RBIs in his last 12 games dating back to the middle of June. But he still feels he hasn't been able to play at his best in his first year with the Cardinals.

Video: STL@BAL: Fowler hits opposite-field two-run homer

"I've been banged up, I've been playing banged up a lot … obviously I can't run like I want to. Obviously the stolen bases and stuff are down," Fowler said. "To be healthy, I think I'll be fine. I'm comfortable in center field, and that's where I'm going to be."

Fowler is expected to start in the Cardinals' last game before the All Star break on Sunday, after Tommy Pham made the start in center field on Saturday. The series finale against the Mets will give St. Louis the opportunity to test out what the outfield will look like with Fowler remaining set on staying in center.

"Those are conversations we have with all players," manager Mike Matheny said on Fowler playing elsewhere. "Just talking about versatility and what we can do and right now we need to watch him in center field."

Video: STL@BAL: Fowler leaps to rob Schoop at the wall

Injury roundup

In his first appearance during his rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield, right-handed pitcher Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless inning on Friday, giving up one hit and striking out one.

Continuing his rehab assignment with Triple-A Memphis, Zach Duke also pitched a scoreless inning on Friday night. The left-hander, who is on the 60-day DL as he recovers from left arm surgery, walked one batter.

"Stuff looked pretty good, both of them felt good afterwards," Matheny said on the recovering pitchers' performances. "So that's positive news on both fronts."

Kolten Wong is also still on pace to return after the All-Star break, despite a scheduled day off in his stint with Springfield on Friday. In the two games he has played in, he's totaled two hits in six at-bats, including a double, a walk and a run scored.

Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.

St. Louis Cardinals, Dexter Fowler