For two weeks the disabled list tugged at Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday, a resistant customer who had dodged an earlier trip following an April 1 appendectomy.

This time, on Thursday to be precise, the disabled list won, as Holliday reluctantly conceded that his strained left quadriceps would not sufficiently heal without at least two weeks' rest.

Rather than lose Holliday for two weeks, however, the Cardinals will have missed him for most of four when he becomes eligible to return June 16. What general manager John Mozeliak and manager Tony La Russa considered something of a gamble became a lost bet, cost still to be determined.

A choice by the Cardinals and Holliday to attempt what Mozeliak called "aggressive" treatment and rehab from a muscle strain cultivated daily suspense, internal intrigue and renewed suspicions over the organization's willingness to disseminate medical information.

Holliday remained unwilling Friday afternoon to discuss his preference to play through the condition and ultimately to be shut down with it.

Those familiar with the situation describe Holliday as adamant about playing through the condition, even after the muscle balked for a third time during Monday's series opener against the San Francisco Giants.

The Cardinals, well aware of public skepticism, insisted their attempt to keep Holliday "alive" for two weeks was based on medical advice, player input and, yes, team needs.