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Furcal likely to miss season

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2013 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal tosses a ball to second base during the team's first full squad workout at spring training baseball in Jupiter, Fla. Furcal will have major surgery on his right elbow next week and likely will miss the season. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2013 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal tosses a ball to second base during the team's first full squad workout at spring training baseball in Jupiter, Fla. Furcal will have major surgery on his right elbow next week and likely will miss the season. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

JUPITER, Fla. – St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal will undergo ligament replacement surgery in his right elbow and expects to miss the 2013 season.

Furcal made the decision after visiting Dr. James Andrew’s clinic Wednesday in Pensacola, Fla..

“It’s very disappointing,” Furcal said. “I worked so hard in the offseason to get everything straight, working hard with the doctors, the training team, we did anything we could do to get ready for spring training, ready for the season.”

Furcal strained the elbow ligament near the end of last season, keeping him out of the final few weeks and the Cardinals’ playoff run. There was a concern then that he’d have to undergo offseason Tommy John surgery, but Furcal chose to try rehab instead.

When healthy, Furcal has one of the strongest arms among major league shortstops. He did participate in some Cardinals fielding drills during spring training, but never threw at 100 percent.

A bone spur in his elbow complicated Furcal’s rehab. He expects the bone spur will be removed at the same time he undergoes Tommy John surgery. An appointment for the operation by Andrews is not yet scheduled, but Furcal and the club believe it will happen next week.

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