JUPITER, Fla. • Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he does not expect Rafael Furcal to be game-ready for the opening weekend of Grapefruit League play, which opens Saturday against Miami.
Furcal continues to throw at less than full strength.
The shortstop, who ended last season with a tear in his right elbow, said he has had to remind himself to ease back on throws during drills.
"We've still got a few days to figure that out," Matheny said. "He still hasn't let it go yet. It's going to be hard to put him out there in a situation where a backhand deep in the hole -- he's not ready for that. It probably will take a little time but we'll wait and see what we have these last few days."
Matheny said they are following the medical staff's plan for building Furcal's health and strength.
"I'm not wanting to push him until he's ready," Matheny said. "I think that would make us go backward. Until he's ready, we have a bunch of guys we need to see."
Matheny said "absolutely right now" Furcal is expected to be ready for opening day.
"You just haven't seen that full 100-percent (throw)," he said.