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No surgery necessary on Fowler's fractured foot

Outfielder has chance to return in 2018; O'Neill scratched with groin discomfort
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

PITTSBURGH -- Outfielder Dexter Fowler will not require surgery on his fractured left foot, but he will spend the next month wearing a boot while the injury heals. Whether that leaves enough time for Fowler to return this season is still an unknown.

Fowler fouled a pitch off the top of his foot and then felt a "pop" while running the bases in Friday's 7-6 loss to the Pirates. He had to be helped off the field, and he exited the ballpark on crutches. On Saturday, Fowler returned to St. Louis, where team physician George Paletta confirmed the diagnosis.

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PITTSBURGH -- Outfielder Dexter Fowler will not require surgery on his fractured left foot, but he will spend the next month wearing a boot while the injury heals. Whether that leaves enough time for Fowler to return this season is still an unknown.

Fowler fouled a pitch off the top of his foot and then felt a "pop" while running the bases in Friday's 7-6 loss to the Pirates. He had to be helped off the field, and he exited the ballpark on crutches. On Saturday, Fowler returned to St. Louis, where team physician George Paletta confirmed the diagnosis.

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In Fowler's absence, the Cardinals intend to give Harrison Bader (center field) and Tyler O'Neill (right field) regular starting opportunities. Yairo Munoz and Jose Martinez will provide additional outfield depth.

"We talked a lot about giving Bader and O'Neill a shot, but I think the original design was for them to split time," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. "Now they get everyday at-bats. We'll see what they can do."

O'Neill's audition will have to wait, as he was scratched from Saturday's starting lineup due to groin discomfort. It's the latest in a series of ailments that have kept O'Neill from making an impression in front of the big league staff. Injuries to his oblique and hamstring limited O'Neill to 12 at-bats in Spring Training. He went on the DL a month ago with a left hamstring strain.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Dexter Fowler