Yadier Molina C STL 4 Days

Molina is out of the lineup Thursday against the Reds, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.

Molina has started 12 straight and the Cardinals have an early afternoon game on tap following a night game, so manager Mike Matheny will predictably turn to A.J. Pierzynski to man the backstop in the finale against Cincinnati. Since his return from a seven-week layoff, Molina is batting just .234 without an extra-base hit, but it's not that surprising given his need to rebuild strength in the thumb.

Yadier Molina C STL 15 Days

Molina went 3-for-5 with three singles, a run, and an RBI Saturday against the Cubs.

It was Molina's second game since returning to the lineup after a seven-week absence, and he collected three singles. He also threw out Arismendy Alcantara stealing second, the first attempt against Molina since he returned.

Yadier Molina C STL 16 Days

Molina is out of the lineup for Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Cubs.

Handed an 8-to-12 week estimated recovery timetable after tearing a ligament in his thumb in early July, Molina returned Friday after missing just over seven weeks. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his return and will head to the bench for Saturday's matinee, but he figures to return behind the plate for Game 2. A.J. Pierzynski will catch Justin Masterson in Game 1.

Yadier Molina C STL 17 Days

Molina (thumb) was activated off the 15-day disabled list and is in the lineup Friday.

Molina was expected to be activated off the disabled list Friday, and that now appears to be the case. He will provide the Cardinals with some extra offensive punch and most of all, will provide them with a commanding presence behind the plate.

Yadier Molina C STL 18 Days

Molina (thumb) is expected to rejoin the Cardinals on Friday, when they begin a four-game series with the Cubs, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports.

Molina appeared in his first rehab game at Double-A Springfield on Wednesday, going 2-for-3 with a double while catching six innings. He'll be back behind the plate at Springfield on Thursday, and assuming everything goes smoothly, the Cardinals will bring him back in the fold for the final 30 games of the season. The team initially projected a eight-to-12 week recovery timetable for Molina when he torn a ligament in his right thumb July 9, but if activated Friday, he'll join the team a week earlier than anticipated.

Yadier Molina C STL 18 Days

Molina (thumb) caught six innings and went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in a rehab game with Double-A Springfield on Wednesday, MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch reports.

Molina had a successful night in his first game since moving his rehab assignment to Springfield. It's not clear how many more rehab games he will need, but a return to the big club is not far off.

Yadier Molina C STL 19 Days

Molina (thumb) will play in a rehab game at Double-A Springfield on Wednesday, Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest reports.

It's unclear if Molina will catch in the game or simply man the DH spot, but regardless, the Cardinals have to be encouraged that he's getting some at-bats under his belt. Molina could remain with Springfield through the end of the weekend before potentially rejoining the Cardinals as early as Sept. 1, when rosters expand. An activation at that time would be contingent on him coning through the rehab games without any pain in his thumb.

Yadier Molina C STL 21 Days

Molina (thumb) will move his rehab to Double-A Springfield, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Molina won't be appearing in rehab games immediately for Springfield, as he'll first be asked to participate in a full workout Tuesday before the Cardinals clarify his schedule. He'll probably need to play full, back-to-back games behind the plate in the minors before the big club will feel comfortable activating him from the DL.

Yadier Molina C STL 21 Days

Molina (thumb) is set to participate in a full workout Tuesday, Jim Hayes of FOX Sports Midwest reports.

If Molina is able to take some swings and field his position without any aggravation to the torn ligament in his thumb, he's expected to receive clearance to begin a rehab assignment within a few days. Molina is about seven weeks through the eight-to-12 week absence initially projected for him after he suffered the injury July 9, and it seems the Cardinals are optimistic about his chances of meeting the short end of that timetable.

Yadier Molina C STL 25 Days

Molina took some light swings Wednesday, his first since tearing a thumb ligament in early-July, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Molina is making excellent progress and has gone without a setback thus far. If all continues to go well he could be back in the lineup in early September.