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Mulder might have MRI on problematic left shoulder

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder might have
additional tests on his surgically repaired left shoulder after
struggling in all three starts this month.

Trainer Barry Weinberg said Monday that an MRI exam could be
scheduled for Mulder, who was to be examined later in the day by
St. Louis team physician Dr. George Paletta. Mulder, 0-3 with a
12.27 ERA, experienced discomfort during Sunday's 4-2 loss to the
Chicago Cubs.

"We'll have the doctor look at him today and make a plan from
there," Weinberg said.

The Cardinals also said outfielder Chris Duncan, who hasn't
played much this month due a sports hernia, is scheduled for an
operation Thursday. Duncan, a son of pitching coach Dave Duncan and
brother of Yankees outfielder Shelley Duncan, batted .259 with 21
homers and 70 RBIs in 127 games.

Mulder said after the start that he was unable to get his arm
high enough to finish his pitches. He worked three innings,
allowing four runs and seven hits.

"We don't know whether mechanics are causing the discomfort or
the discomfort is causing the mechanics," Weinberg said. "We'll
take a look at him this week and see what happens."

Mulder threw two scoreless innings on Sunday before the Cubs
batted around in the third and scored all four of their runs.

"I have more strength, more adrenaline in the first, which
makes it look better. It's not," Mulder said. "It doesn't feel
any different to me. It's not that I get tired. It's just that my
arm doesn't ever get up to where it needs to be. I feel that from
the first pitch on."

Manager Tony La Russa has frequently stressed the importance of
Mulder pitching before the end of the season.

"The idea was to get him back so he felt good, then he could
use the winter to get everything back to 100 percent," La Russa
said. "He's going out there without all his weapons."