2 injured players Cardinal fans shouldn't worry about and 1 that is concerning

The Cardinals currently have 6 players on the Injured List. Most of them are progressing well, but one player in particular is concerning.

Aug 12, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Lars Nootbaar (68)
Aug 12, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Lars Nootbaar (68) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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Lars Nootbaar should be available for the first weekend at Busch Stadium.

For a man who has been injured in some of the weirdest ways possible, Nootbaar's spring training injury is near the top of the list. The young outfielder made a diving play and ended up fracturing his ribs in the process. Nootbaar's injury came in a spring training game on March 8th.

It was almost immediately clear that Nootbaar would not be healthy for the opening day game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and his friends, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shohei Ohtani. As spring progressed, Nootbaar's return for the home opener began to become more unsure. He was placed on the 10-day injured list on March 26th.

Noot is eligible to come off the IL on Thursday, April 4th for the home opener. According to MLB.com's John Denton, however, it is unlikely that he will be activated for that game. Nootbaar is healthy enough to play, but given the fact that he missed the final two weeks of spring training, Lars wants to get a feel for the game that he was unable to garner due to missing most of the spring circuit.

In Nootbaar's first rehab game for Memphis on Tuesday, he played 5 innings in left field while getting 3 at-bats. Nootbaar went 0-3 with a run scored and an RBI. He hit into a fielder's choice to score a run, and he eventually came all the way around to score a run in the Redbirds' 7-2 victory over the Indianapolis Indians.

Nootbaar's return will help solidify an outfield that has been decimated by injuries. Tommy Edman, Dylan Carlson, and Lars Nootbaar were projected to be 3 of the team's 4 starting outfielders next year. While Alec Burleson, Brendan Donovan, Michael Siani, and Victor Scott II have been filling in admirably--particularly on the defensive side--Lars's return will strengthen the team's depth.

The hope is to see Nootbaar play opening weekend at Busch Stadium. Given his progression with the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate Memphis Redbirds, optimism should be high for the lefty's inclusion that weekend.