TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had surgery Monday to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back.

Matheny underwent the procedure in St. Louis. Before leaving the team on Sunday, Matheny said he expected to be back at spring training for Thursday's game against Atlanta in Jupiter.

"As of right now, he's feeling great," St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak said before Monday's exhibition game against the New York Yankees. "What's important now is that he has to take it slow over the next few weeks, probably for a month. But I do think he's getting some relief from that procedure today, so that's very encouraging. I hope to see him by the end of the week back in camp, knowing that he's going to have to take it slow and be smart about it."

The 42-year-old Matheny, who replaced Tony La Russa as manager after the 2011 season, said early in spring training that the injury probably traces back to his days as a big league catcher from 1994-06.

Bench coach Mike Aldrete is managing the team in Matheny's absence.

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