St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran is returning to the lineup for Friday's NLCS Game 5, batting second after missing the previous game with a left knee injury.
Earlier this week, Beltran felt some pain in his left knee after trying to leg out a double-play in the first inning of Game 3, and he hasn't played since. But after testing the injury with some outfield drills Friday afternoon, Beltran now feels ready to go.
Here's what the 2012 All Star told MLB.com about how he's feeling after warmups:
"I'm going to give it a try...My concern was being able to run 100 percent, and I did that in the outfield...I still feel it, but it's not like yesterday or the day before."
ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that Beltran received acupuncture in his knee during a four and a half hour treatment session, after his knee gave him some trouble Thursday in the batting cages.
Beltran's return surely has the San Francisco Giants sweating, as the veteran has hit .400 with three home runs, five doubles and six RBIs so far this postseason. Looks like things just got a little more difficult for a team already facing elimination Friday evening.
The rest of the Cardinals lineup is as follows:
- Jon Jay - CF
- Carlos Beltran - RF
- Matt Holliday - LF
- Allen Craig - 1B
- Yadier Molina - C
- David Freese - 3B
- Daniel Descalso - 2B
- Pete Kozma - SS
- Lance Lynn - SP