Pujols could be back near All-Star break

SAINT LOUIS (STLToday.com) - Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols' fractured left wrist has shown "significant improvement" following aggressive treatment to promote healing of the bone, likely allowing the three-time NL Most Valuable Player to return to the club immediately after the All-Star break, if not before, according to sources familiar with the situation.

A follow-up CT scan performed on Friday found a diminished fissure on the distal tip of Pujols' left radius, which was damaged when Kansas City Royals third baseman Wilson Betemit collided with Pujols on a play at first base during the teams' June 19 game at Busch Stadium.

Team doctors initially projected Pujols' return at 4-6 weeks and prescribed that he remain in a soft cast for up to four weeks before resuming baseball-related activities.

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