The next time the Cardinals take the field, Rafael Furcal won’t be with them.

After an off-day today, the Cardinals will resume Grapefruit League play Wednesday, but Furcal will be getting a second opinion on his ailing right elbow that day.

“We’ll probably have him see Dr. (James) Andrews on Wednesday,” said Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak on Monday. Andrews has offices both in Pensacola, Fla., and in Birmingham, Ala., but the site of Furcal’s visit will be in Pensacola. Mozeliak said he had worked out most of the details with Furcal’s agent, Paul Kinzer.

After Furcal suffered a torn ligament in his elbow last Aug. 30, Mozeliak said the doctors who examined Furcal in the aftermath didn’t feel surgery was necessary, which was fine with Furcal because he was adamant that he didn’t want it anyway. So, in Mozeliak’s mind, the Cardinals weren’t really rolling the dice.

An MRI test taken in November showed marked improvement in the elbow, and Furcal came to camp fully expecting to play soon in the exhibition season. Now, he has hurt his arm again making a sidearm throw last Thursday. Furcal appears to have new ligament damage on top of a bone spur (Furcal received a shot for that), and pending what Andrews says, Furcal surely won’t be playing by opening day and perhaps not at all this season.

“The probability of him being able to play on opening day (April 1) is a long shot,” admitted Mozeliak.

But Mozeliak said there was no second-guessing to be had on whether Furcal should have had surgery or not after last season.