Yadier Molina injury: Cardinals C works outs in catcher's gear

Dilip Vishwanat

The Cardinals and Molina believe he should be able to return when he is first eligible on Thursday.

St. Louis Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina performed defensive drills Saturday while wearing his catcher's gear for the first time since being placed on the disabled list, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Molina also did some light sprinting and continued to take batting practice with the team.

More Cardinals coverage: Viva El Birdos

The Cardinals remain hopeful that Molina will be able to return when first eligible on Thursday after taking the minimum 15 days on the DL. General Manager John Mozeliak recently said that he is "very optimistic" Molina will return quickly.

St. Louis placed Molina on the DL July 31 with a right knee sprain. An MRI showed no structural damage, and Molina had a cortisone shot after having fluid drained in the area. The knee is not expected to be something that will bother Molina throughout the season.

Molina has been a dark horse candidate for the National League MVP award this season. He is second in the NL with a .330 batting average and has gotten on base at a .374 clip over 98 games. Molina has hit eight home runs with his power being down from a career high in 2012, but has still provided his trademark defense behind home plate. Molina was named to the All-Star game in 2013 for the fifth consecutive season.

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