Cardinals’ catcher Molina: Back by end of regular season

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina said he plans to return before the end of the regular season despite a thumb injury.

Molina sustained a slight tear of his left thumb ligament Sunday while tagging out Cubs’ player Anthony Rizzo in a key play at the plate in the Cardinals’ 4-3 win. Rizzo was thrown out by right fielder Jason Heyward on a no-out, bases-loaded fly for a double play in the eighth inning.

On Tuesday, Molina said he’ll wait five or six days before trying to catch again.

Last year, Molina tore a ligament in his right thumb when sliding and the surgery sidelined him more than seven weeks. When he had his left thumb examined Monday, he said he was relieved the injury wasn’t as severe.

“I was expecting worse,” Molina said. “Five, seven, 10 days, whatever it is, but no surgery. That was good news.”

Molina didn’t have his thumb protected Tuesday, and it appeared slightly swollen. He’s said he’s putting ice on it and waiting for it to heal.