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Molina happy with improvements in right knee

ST. LOUIS -- Though it remains undetermined as to whether Yadier Molina will be cleared to come off the disabled list when he is eligible on Aug. 15, the Cardinals' injured catcher said Monday that he is pleased with the improvement he has already made. It has been six days since Molina left a game early due to a right knee sprain.

Aside from throwing, Molina has not resumed baseball activities, and neither he, nor general manager John Mozeliak placed a timetable on when he will. Molina continues to treat the inflammation in his right knee through therapy and is limiting his exercises so as not to put added stress on the knee.

Asked if he was optimistic that he would come off the 15-day DL when eligible, Molina said yes.

"Right now, I feel a lot better then I felt last week, and hopefully we keep progressing," he said. "Each day it's getting better."

Based on the doctors' read of an MRI exam last week, Molina does not anticipate needing to have a procedure on his knee after the season. His right knee was already operated on once in 2007.

Molina landed on the DL at a time when he was batting .330 and considered a leading candidate for the National League's Most Valuable Player Award. The Cardinals have defended Molina's heavy workload up until this setback, but will revisit the topic once Molina gets closer to a return.

"We haven't [discussed it], but we obviously have to be smart about it," general manager John Mozeliak said. "A lot of it obviously depends on how these next 10 days play out for us. You think about getting him back into the swing of things, I just think if we decide to go with the three catchers, we have to make sure we utilize those guys moving forward."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB.
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