CHICAGO -- Jim Edmonds returned to the field on Saturday, but that doesn't mean he's ready to get back in the Cardinals' starting lineup.
Edmonds walked as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of St. Louis' 5-4 loss to Chicago, then came around to score on Ronnie Belliard's double. He stayed in to play center field for the ninth and 10th, singling in his second plate appearance.
"He could hit," said manager Tony La Russa. "And then after he ran the bases, I asked whether he could play defense -- otherwise we would have gone a different way. And he said he could play defense. So we'll see tomorrow."
Edmonds acknowledged, however, that his vision still isn't completely clear as he battles a case of post-concussion syndrome. Playing the outfield was something of a challenge, as was picking up Belliard's ball in the outfield as he ran the bases.
"I would have liked to have been further around the bases when the ball hit the ground," he said. "But things weren't super-clear, as I would like it to be, when I was running. I was just trying to be sure. I think that's an easier read for somebody who's been out there more than once in the last week."
It took a creative slide for Edmonds to avoid catcher Henry Blanco's tag, but he managed to do so. More critically, he managed not to collide with Blanco.
"Running, I was more worried about blowing out a hamstring," Edmonds said. "I came around third and saw there was going to be a play at the plate, and I was thinking of everything I could do not to run into the catcher.
"I thought if I bang into the catcher right here, this could be it for the season."
Edmonds said before the game Saturday that he was still gradually improving. Still, it's clear that he's not at 100 percent. As long as the Cardinals have other options in center field, it's likely that Edmonds won't return to starting duty just yet.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax