The Cardinals placed shortstop Rafael Furcal on the disabled list Friday, a move that represents a tacit admission that the All-Star defender will miss the remainder of the season with a damaged elbow ligament.

An MRI performed on Furcal's elbow discovered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. A decision remains on whether Furcal, 34, requires ligament replacement surgery, a procedure that would require a rehab of six to eight months for a position player.

The injury rips at the Cardinals' defensive fabric at a time when the club is clinging to the league's second wild-card berth.

Furcal also generated much of the club's pulse since being acquired July 31, 2011, from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

"He's been a great addition to this team and we hate to see that happen to him," manager Mike Matheny said. "But we've had many of those (injuries) happen throughout the season. It's just an opportunity for someone else to step up, not just at shortstop, but to pick up the slack with the energy that he brings every day."