Reyes out for year with torn elbow ligament

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Cardinals reliever Al Reyes tore a
ligament in his right elbow in the regular-season finale and will
require reconstructive surgery, forcing him to miss the playoffs
and next season.

Reyes, who was 4-2 with a 2.15 ERA and three saves in 65 games,
was the team's top middle reliever -- and he was equally tough on
right- and left-handed hitters. He struck out the side with the
bases loaded to get the win on Friday and had 67 strikeouts in 62
2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .177 batting average.

"Al Reyes was in the middle of any situation in the last three
or four innings when we were trying to close out a game,"
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Monday. "He had a great

La Russa said it's just another obstacle for a team that played
much of the year minus four regulars and will be without third
baseman Scott Rolen for the postseason. Rolen had season-ending
shoulder surgery in August.

"You make too big of a thing of it and it sounds like, 'How do
we win without him?' and we have to," La Russa said. "It's not
important who takes his spot."

Trainer Barry Weinberg said Reyes had not reported any problems
with the elbow before the injury in the sixth inning Sunday against
the Reds, and he left the game with a 3-2 count on Felipe Lopez. An
exam on Monday morning confirmed the team's suspicions, Weinberg

"It was a one-pitch episode," Weinberg said. "He felt some
discomfort and knew it wasn't right."

The 35-year-old Reyes had reconstructive surgery on the elbow in
1995. The injury is expected to sideline him for a year.

"It's bad luck," Weinberg said. "It's horrible luck for

Weinberg said Jim Edmonds, who didn't start the last two games
of the regular season due to shoulder soreness, would be in the
lineup for the opener of the Cardinals' first-round playoff series
against the Padres on Tuesday.

"He's doing much better," Weinberg said. "He'll be ready to