MRI shows irritation, but won't sideline Rolen

ST. LOUIS -- Scott Rolen expects to be able to play despite his sore left knee after an MRI revealed irritation in the joint Tuesday.

The Cardinals' All-Star third baseman has been bothered by the knee for about a month, but it mostly affects him on the basepaths. He leads the major leagues with 80 RBIs.

"He's handling it all right, and it's actually getting a little
better," trainer Barry Weinberg said. "He's pretty active so he
roughs it up a little bit and it flames up, and then it quiets

Rolen said he and Dr. George Paletta, the Cardinals' physician, discussed a series of injections that would cushion the knee. But he's holding off, at least for now.

Rolen intends to play in the All-Star game July 13 in Houston.

"It's manageable," he said.

Rolen made his 81st start of the season Tuesday, more than any other Cardinals player.

"I just think he's not the type that's going to sit around and
give a lot of complaints," manager Tony La Russa said. "I don't
think he's 100 percent, but 100 percent for him is super.

"A little less than that and you're still doing really well
compared to everybody else."

Rolen's knee bothered him for two weeks last year, before the
pain simply went away. That gave him hope that he won't have to
play with this injury for an extended period of time.

"I was struggling bad," he said. "Then all of a sudden it was