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Cardinals spring training

Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta had two doubles and drove in two runs Tuesday night. Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com

JUPITER, Fla. • Injured Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta will head to St. Louis later Tuesday to have the torn ligament in his left thumb looked at by a hand specialist. It is very possible Peralta will have surgery on this visit, which could keep him out some 10 to 12 weeks.

Peralta, who was injured on Saturday when fielding a ground ball in the dirt, stopped by camp briefly Tuesday before leaving. He told reporters, “It feels the same. We’ll see tomorrow what the doctor says.”

Peralta said he had talked to catcher Yadier Molina, who had two surgeries on his left thumb and that Molina had recommended the surgery.

“Better to do it now than try to wait,” Peralta said Molina’s advice to him was. “If I do it now, I’ll be ready for June or something like that.”

Molina, speaking for both the Cardinals and Peralta, said, “It will be a tough two months."

Peralta was hurt on what he thought was a routine play. “I make it every time, but it’s something different now,” he said. “When I got the ball right away, I felt something bad in my thumb. I didn’t think it was anything serious at the moment but after the game I cooled down and that's when I started to feel more pain.”

For the moment, Jedd Gyorko, acquired from San Diego for outfielder Jon Jay in the off-season, is likely to be the regular at short.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Gyorko. “It’s a tough blow for us because Jhonny is such a good player. But we’ve got to rally around him, play good baseball and fill in the gaps.”

Gyorko said he thought the September month he played shortstop for the Padres last year  “went pretty well. It definitely helped me out for the situation we’re in now. I’m glad I was able to get those games in because I’m way more comfortable over there than I was before.

“I think I can handle it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

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