Cardinals manager Mike Matheny hopes his out-patient surgery in St. Louis on Monday morning will alleviate the pain in his back and legs and allow him to return for Thursday's game without any limitations.

"Yes, yes I am," Matheny said. "I hope it cooperates."

Matheny will return to St. Louis tonight, as reported in this morning's paper, and he will have surgery to remove the fragment from a ruptured disc that is pressing against his nerve. He said he has not been given any indication on the percentages of success for the surgery, but knows that removing the fragment should alleviate the numbness in his leg and pain. There are "more dramatic" surgeries, he said, if this one does not free him.

He said when he returns to Florida, as soon as Wednesday night, he does not expect to have to change his routine at the ballpark.

He did not expect to miss any more games, even on the road.

"I don't have to hit, or throw, or catch," Matheny said. "I'm OK when I just standing over there (in the dugout)."