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La Russa out indefinitely with viral disease

ST. LOUIS — Cardinals manager Tony La Russa was diagnosed with shingles and was having tests Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic, and it was uncertain when he would return to the team.

General manager John Mozeliak said he was waiting to talk with La Russa for an update. St. Louis started a series at Chicago on Tuesday night.

Bench coach Joe Pettini will run the Cardinals in place of La Russa, 66, who is in his 16th season as St. Louis manager.

La Russa's problem was initially identified in mid April as conjunctivitis, an inflammation commonly known as pink eye. But last week he called his illness a viral infection.

The entire right side of La Russa's face was swollen for a while, although La Russa continued to hit fungoes at practice until the last homestand.

DODGERS SAGA: A former baseball executive appointed by commissioner Bud Selig to help monitor the troubled team was relieved of his duties after it was discovered he was a paid consultant last year to ex-team CEO Jamie McCourt. An attorney for owner Frank McCourt wrote in a letter that Richard Freeman worked for Jamie McCourt in early January 2010.

In other Dodgers news, SS Rafael Furcal, on the disabled list for four weeks with a broken left thumb, is at least several days from being able to begin a rehab assignment, manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com.

UTLEY JOINS THRESHERS: Phillies All-Star 2B Chase Utley, out all season with right knee patellar tendinitis, began a rehab assignment at Class A Clearwater, going 1-for-4 as the DH. There is no timetable for his return.

RYAN NEARS APPROVAL: Owners will approve Nolan Ryan as controlling owner of the Rangers when they meet Thursday. In other Rangers news, RHP Tommy Hunter aggravated his groin injury during a minor-league rehab start and will be shut down for 2-3 weeks.

ANGELS: CF Vernon Wells went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin, and OF Reggie Willits was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.

BLUE JAYS: 1B/DH Adam Lind, out of the lineup with lower back spasms, had an MRI exam and is likely to go on the disabled list.

BRAVES: SS Alex Gonzalez sat out as a precaution after tweaking his left hamstring over the weekend.

GIANTS: CF Andres Torres (Achilles' tendon) and 3B Mark DeRosa (wrist) were activated from the disabled list and in the starting lineup. Struggling INF Miguel Tejada was benched.

MARINERS: Closer David Aardsma, who has been rehabbing from offseason hip surgery at Triple-A Tacoma, has a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

MARLINS: RHP Javier Vazquez went on the bereavement list after the death of a relative on his wife's side of the family in his native Puerto Rico.

ORIOLES: SS J.J. Hardy, on the disabled list since April 13 with a strained left oblique, was activated. RH reliever Josh Rupe was designated for assignment.

ROYALS: LHP Bruce Chen will go on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his left side. RHP Vin Mazzaro will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha.

YANKEES: RHP Phil Hughes plans to start throwing on flat ground Thursday. Hughes had a cortisone shot about two weeks ago to relieve discomfort in his right shoulder.

La Russa out indefinitely with viral disease 05/10/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 9:51pm]
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