ANOTHER UPDATE: For the injury purists out there, it should be noted that the injury wasn’t so much a broken wrist, as it was a non-displaced fracture of his left radius (forearm).

UPDATE: Drew here. Looks like the wrist is broken. The finally hot Albert Pujols misses four-to-six weeks. As I read on Twitter, this gives LaRussa his chance to paint the Sistine Chapel. Look out St. Louis, you’re about to get managed up!

As St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols left yesterday afternoon’s series finale against the Kansas City Royals in the sixth inning after Wilson Betemit ran into the first baseman’s glove hand as Pujols stretched his body down the line to come up with second baseman Pete Kozma’s off target throw.

Pujols immediately clutched his wrist and eventually fell to the ground in pain as Cardinals trainer Greg Hauck attended to him. Despite initial worries that the collision resulted in a fractured wrist, tests revealed that it was merely a sprain. However, the swelling was severe, and as we saw with Brett Lawrie, sometimes broken bones aren’t obvious right away.

Assuming the swelling does go down, Pujols will go for more tests today. (Ed Note: Once a gain, broken!) The Cardinals haven’t yet placed him on the Disabled List, hoping that the injury looked scarier than it was, but what will a sprained wrist mean for Pujols moving forward in a contract year. According to Sports Illustrated’s Will Carroll:

He is definitely going to miss some time, but it’s unclear how much time it will be at this early stage. Wrist injuries usually lead to a loss of power, so even when he comes back, we may see Pujols stay below his normal levels as he heads into free agency.

Albert Pujols may be the only player in baseball who could miss time due to an injury in a contract year, and have it not affect his market value even a little bit. Pujols has only missed 62 games over ten years. He’s never played less than 143 games in a season and that was back in 2006 when he hit his personal best 49 home runs.