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Mikolas delayed 1 month by forearm soreness

RHP gets 2nd PRP injection to aid tendon strain; DeJong attends symphony gala
@anne__rogers
February 18, 2020

JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas had a second platelet-rich plasma injection Tuesday morning to treat his right flexor tendon strain. As a result, his season will be delayed by at least a month. Mikolas received the injection in his right forearm to help heal the flexor tendons, which

JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas had a second platelet-rich plasma injection Tuesday morning to treat his right flexor tendon strain. As a result, his season will be delayed by at least a month.

Mikolas received the injection in his right forearm to help heal the flexor tendons, which connect the muscles of the forearm to the bones in the fingers and thumb. The 31-year-old starter has been prescribed rest for the next three to four weeks and will be able to participate in non-throwing drills before being evaluated in mid-March. If all is healed by then, Mikolas could begin a throwing program and go to Minor League camp to ramp up his pitching.

"Just realized it was necessary and gives us a better chance to get him off to a healthy start, get what he’s dealing with behind him,” manager Mike Shildt said. “So that’s where we are.”

This was Mikolas’ second PRP injection to help the soreness he felt throughout last season. He received the first injection at the start of the offseason, but he felt a return of the discomfort during his first bullpen session Thursday after he threw with greater intensity than he had in the winter.

Another MRI was taken over the weekend to make sure the discomfort didn’t indicate a weakness in his elbow or elsewhere in his arm. The Cardinals were encouraged that the imaging confirmed there was no ligament damage, since a ligament injury could require surgery and a longer recovery.

“Obviously the location of [the strain], I would say it’s a natural concern,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “But I think one of the things that we’re trying to avoid by just doing cortisone is we’re trying not to put the ligament at risk.”

Because a PRP injection promotes healing instead of just taking away the inflammation of the area, the Cardinals and Mikolas are hoping that the injection, and the rest that comes along with it, will return better results.

“Well, I think two things,” Mozeliak said about what’s different with this injection. “One is obviously a PRP can be sometimes referred to as a cocktail, so there can be different ingredients that can go into it to help change the outcome. And I would also say that the location of the injection likely changed.”

Mikolas is in the first year of a four-year, $68 million extension he signed last year. He was the Cardinals’ Opening Day starter last season.

“Disappointed, but he wants to get it behind him, move forward,” Shildt said about Mikolas. “But one thing I appreciate about Miles, he’s really done a nice job of staying engaged with camp, working and paying attention to all the different things we’re doing. And he’s still doing things with his lower half and some baseball activity, so keeping him engaged as much as possible so when he comes back, it’s just about getting his arm ready.”

The Cardinals have the starting pitching depth to open the season with a five-man rotation. Carlos Martínez and Kwang-Hyun Kim were already vying for the one open spot in the rotation, so it’s possible now that both will start. John Gant, Ryan Helsley, Genesis Cabrera, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Austin Gomber are all on starter’s schedules this spring and are expected to compete for the spot as well.

DeJong participates in Palm Beach Symphony gala

Paul DeJong is no longer a rookie or even one of the younger players, experience-wise, on the Cardinals roster. With that comes responsibility, first and foremost on the field and at the plate, but also in the community.

Now living in Palm Beach, Fla., during the offseason, DeJong has worked over the last year to increase his involvement with the Palm Beach Symphony and its philanthropic goals. The 26-year-old shortstop has always held an interest in classical music, and he sees the symphony as one of the ways he can give back to something that’s interested him since he was little.

On Monday night, the symphony held its annual gala at The Breakers Palm Beach, and DeJong, along with his agent, Burton Rocks, was in attendance. All of the proceeds from the event went to the symphony’s music, community outreach and education programs.

“It’s a cool event,” DeJong said. “I’m really glad I can show my support.”

Worth noting

• Tuesday was the Cardinals’ second round of live batting practice on the back fields of Roger Dean Stadium. Many of St. Louis' starting pitchers took the mound, and the highlight of the day was on Field 2, where Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty and Kwang-Hyun Kim faced Yadier Molina, Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter.

• David Freese will make his first return to Busch Stadium as a Cardinal alumnus on Aug. 11, participating in Budweiser Bash, special theme nights throughout the season featuring former Cardinals. Freese, a St. Louis native most known for his postseason heroics in 2011, announced last season that it would be his last. Rick Ankiel (April 21) and Hall of Famer Lee Smith (Sept. 1) will also make appearances.

Anne Rogers covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @anne__rogers and on Facebook.