- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) - Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has had the cast removed from his surgically repaired left thumb.

St. Louis said the cast was removed recently but did not provide the exact date.

The seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glove winner is among several players already at spring training ahead of St. Louis’ first workout on Thursday. He hopes to be ready for opening day.

Molina was hampered in the postseason by the injury sustained making a tag on Sept. 20. The 33-year-old had two operations after the NL Central champions were eliminated by the Cubs in the Division Series.

St. Louis signed a backup catcher with plenty of starting experience, Brayan Pena, who could open the season as the starter, if necessary.

Molina hit .270 last season with four homers and 61 RBIs.

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