IN BRIEF : Injury May Sideline Ozzie Smith

From Times wire services

A strained muscle that shortstop Ozzie Smith suffered on his left side while stealing a base may keep him out of St. Louis’ season opener, the Cardinals said today.

Manager Whitey Herzog said a medical determination on Smith, 34, who was hurt Thursday during a game at Dunedin, Fla., against the Toronto Blue Jays, is expected within 48 hours.

Smith is not the only St. Louis player hurt. Pitchers Danny Cox and Greg Mathews are disabled, and first baseman Pedro Guerrero has been idled a week by the strained tendons below his right knee he sustained March 24.

The Cardinals open in New York against the Mets, defending National League East champions.


“Spring training is just too long,” Herzog said of the Cardinals’ problems. “I don’t see what it accomplishes, except guys keep (getting hurt).”