ST. LOUIS -- His Cardinals tenure interrupted by injury from its start, Luke Gregerson now faces another recovery. The reliever is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.Gregerson said his knee "flared up" last month, shortly
ST. LOUIS -- His Cardinals tenure interrupted by injury from its start, Luke Gregerson now faces another recovery. The reliever is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Gregerson said his knee "flared up" last month, shortly after he was placed on the disabled list with shoulder and elbow soreness. The pain worsened in the three weeks that followed, prompting an MRI that revealed a meniscus "lodged in the joint," the reliever said. Gregerson also missed time in Spring Training with oblique tightness, then began the season on the DL with a left hamstring strain.
"My arm feels great, which is obviously the most frustrating part about all of this," Gregerson said. "I feel like a [jerk] because I've been pretty healthy my whole career, and I come over here and I've been nothing but injured the entire time. I feel bad for my team. You come over and you try to make a good impression and all you do is watch."
In between, the 34-year-old pitched to an 8.64 ERA across 8 1/3 innings in 12 appearances. Signed this offseason to potentially fill the Cardinals' closer role, Gregerson had a 3.66 ERA and 47 saves over his previous three seasons with the Astros. He'd averaged 69 appearances per season over his nine-year career before signing with St. Louis.
"I take a lot of pride in staying healthy and contributing, being a role model for the young guys," Gregerson said. "This is frustrating and upsetting. You feel like you're letting people down sometimes."
Gregerson's injuries have been just part of a variety of maladies to hit the Cardinals' relief corps over the season's first two-plus months, a unit president of baseball operations John Mozeliak described this week as "in an exhaustive state."
The club has already used 23 pitchers this season and placed 10 on the disabled list -- including eight relievers. Gregerson, Greg Holland, Tyler Lyons, Dominic Leone and Matt Bowman are all currently inactive, forcing manager Mike Matheny to rejigger his bridge to the ninth inning on a near-daily basis. Collectively, Cardinals relievers rank 12th in the National League with a 4.49 ERA.
"I want nothing more than to go out there and help," Gregerson said. "When you can't, you feel useless and helpless."
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.