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Yadier's knee better, should be OK for ASG

CHICAGO -- Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said the troublesome right knee that kept him out of a game a week ago is improving steadily and he'll probably make the start for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game (6:30 p.m. CT on FOX).

Molina, who was voted by fans to be the NL's starting catcher, left a game on July 6 at Busch Stadium to get an MRI on his sore right knee -- which was surgically repaired in September 2007. The results showed nothing structurally wrong, but the Cardinals will continue to monitor their star backstop on a daily basis. After starting on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, Molina has played in 85 of the Cardinals' 90 games and was second in the Majors in innings caught (698) coming into the game.

"Every day it's getting better," Molina said. "Being a catcher is a tough position. You won't be 100 percent every day, and right now my knee is getting better every day that goes by."

Asked about the knee possibly affecting his thinking in regard to the All-Star Game, Molina hinted that he'd probably make the start.

"I care more about my team here, about the season and [wins and losses]," he said. "I'm in the [NL] lineup right now, so I'm good to go."

If anybody understands the rigors of catching on the knees, it's Cardinals manager Mike Matheny -- who caught 10,052 2/3 innings in his 13-year Major League career.

"Any catcher that catches a lot of innings through a career, you're going to have things pop up," Matheny said. "[Molina's] already had that [knee] repaired once and that's part of what's going on here, but the new pictures and everything they took, everything's pointing in the direction of … we've just got to listen to his body. When it feels good, we're going to roll with it, and when it doesn't, we're going to have to take some time."

Brian Hedger is a contributor to
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