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Eligible to come off DL, Ellis' status still uncertain

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals infielder Mark Ellis (patella tendinitis) took another step forward to being activated off of the disabled list on Friday.

Ellis reported no problems with his knee after a strenuous pregame workout before the team hosted the Cubs on Friday night. Even though the workout went well, there is still no decision on Ellis, who was eligible to come off the DL on Friday.

"I should be really close," Ellis said. "I should be any day now. I just have to get with the trainers and [manager]Mike [Matheny] and see what we want to do."

Matheny said Ellis' status will depend on how his body responds in the next few days. The team feels no need to rush Ellis back, especially with rookie Kolten Wong (.276 average) off to a strong start at second.

"He's got to be 100 percent, or else we would have done it on Opening Day," Matheny said. "He was good enough to play then and play the infield, but not to his max potential as far as how he could move. It just didn't make sense to do that at the time and we're just going to keep trying to get him to that spot where he has no limitations."

Ellis signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in the offseason, but has yet to see the field in the regular season because of the injury that flared up late in Spring Training.

It isn't clear whether Ellis, a 12-year veteran, will need a Minor League rehab assignment once activated. The prospect isn't exactly appealing to Ellis.

"Minor League rehabs are the worst," Ellis said. "I think if you ask any big league player, it might be necessary, but you try to avoid them at all cost if you don't have to go. It's not something that you love doing, but at the same time you want to be able to help the team the best you can as soon as you step out there. We'll talk about it and see what's best."

Joe Harris is a contributor to
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