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Wong improved, cleared to return to action

MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Sidelined by hamstring tightness since Friday, Kolten Wong could see the field before the end of Monday's series opener against the Brewers and return to the Cardinals' starting lineup Tuesday.

Manager Mike Shildt declared Wong as available to pinch-hit or enter as a late-game defensive replacement Monday after the second baseman passed a battery of on-field tests prior to the game. Under the watch of the athletic training staff, Wong took ground balls and tested his hamstrings running.

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ST. LOUIS -- Sidelined by hamstring tightness since Friday, Kolten Wong could see the field before the end of Monday's series opener against the Brewers and return to the Cardinals' starting lineup Tuesday.

Manager Mike Shildt declared Wong as available to pinch-hit or enter as a late-game defensive replacement Monday after the second baseman passed a battery of on-field tests prior to the game. Under the watch of the athletic training staff, Wong took ground balls and tested his hamstrings running.

View Full Game Coverage

Improvement, Wong said, was tangible.

"It's definitely turned a corner and feels a lot better today," Wong said. "I was running out there, probably about 85-90 percent. It's feeling a lot stronger. [I'm] hoping that the time I'm getting off right now helps a little bit."

Wong had to exit Friday's game after feeling tightness in both hamstring muscles. He believes the issue is linked to the loose cartilage that has been causing discomfort in his left knee.

Wong has not felt inhibited swinging a bat or taking ground balls. Rather, it's running the bases that remains the most pressing concern.

"You know the pains you can push through and the pains that don't feel right," Wong said. "That's one right now that's kind of in the middle of both. Hopefully another day off or a couple innings [off] will give me time to lock it in."

Worth noting

• Tickets for a potential tiebreaker game at Busch Stadium will go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Tuesday. The Cardinals, who have never played a one-game tiebreaker, would host the Rockies or Dodgers next Monday if they were to tie either club for the National League's second Wild Card berth. Tickets can be purchased at cardinals.com, the Busch Stadium box office or by calling 314-345-9000.

• ESPN announced it will televise the final game of the Cardinals' series against Milwaukee on Wednesday, as well as their first game at Wrigley Field on Friday. Both games were picked up by the network since they will have playoff implications.

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, Kolten Wong