After being resistant to the idea when the injury first occurred, Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal has decided to have ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow, a procedure that could keep him off the field for the 2013 season.

Furcal and the Cardinals announced this morning that Furcal will have Tommy John surgery in the near future.

Furcal met with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday and it will be Andrews who performs the surgery.

The recovery time for position players is less than the year it takes for a pitcher to return from the elbow reconstruction, but with six to eight months of recovering and rehab ahead of him, it is unlikely that Furcal will play for the Cardinals this season. He is in the final year of a two-year, $14-million contract with the club.

Furcal tore a ligament in his elbow while making a throw on Aug. 30 last year. He missed the final two months of the season, including the playoffs.

At the time, he did not want to have surgery and he was prescribed rest, rehab, and a platelet-rich plasma injection. The ligament responded to the treatment and a scan of the joint in November showed that it had improved enough to be functional. Surgery was not recommended at the time, Cardinals officials have said repeatedly in the past week.