PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Jhonny Peralta had surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and likely will be sidelined for about 10-to-12 weeks.
Manager Mike Matheny anticipated Peralta will return to the team's spring training site in Jupiter, Florida, in a few days. The surgery took place in St. Louis after Peralta got a second opinion.
Matheny said the Cardinals will consult with the surgeon, Dr. Charlie Goldfarb, to find out when Peralta can eturn to action.
"I haven't heard an exact date that I'd feel comfortable passing around," Matheny said.
Matheny also said catcher Yadier Molina checked out fine a day after playing three innings behind the plate in his spring training debut. Molina, who had a pair of offseason operations, could play again Friday, catching Carlos Martinez, but won't bat for about a week.
Offseason acquisition Jedd Gyorko is likely to get the first chance to fill in at shortstop. The Cardinals also have utilityman Greg Garcia and prospect Aledmys Diaz in camp.
Diaz started on Thursday, a day after Gyorko got the nod. Matheny said Garcia, who appeared in 49 games last year, likely will play a lot in later innings of games. Earlier in the week, Diaz had a four-hit game.
"We've seen Garcia out there and have a pretty good idea. Haven't seen much of Diaz and haven't seen much of Gyorko," Matheny said. "We need to see for ourselves."
Gyorko was a college shortstop and started 28 games at shortstop last year with San Diego. Like Peralta, Gyorko is a power hitter with perhaps less range than prototypical shortstops. He had 16 homers and 57 RBI last year; Peralta had 17 homers and 71 RBI.
Matheny said the Cardinals have analyzed data on Gyorko but isn't that enamored as metrics like range factor. He wants to see for himself.
"I'd like to say it holds a lot of water, but the most recent experience I have is we picked up Jhonny Peralta and everybody told us what he could not do at shortstop," Matheny said. "We've been very happy with what Jhonny has been able to do and everybody told us we shouldn't expect much."