When the Cardinals fail to catch a break, they still can't dodge a sprain.

Shortstop Rafael Furcal missed a second straight start in Sunday night's nationally telecast game against the Chicago Cubs because of a severe thumb sprain suffered in a fall before Saturday's 3-0 loss.

Furcal, whom manager Tony La Russa planned to rest Saturday, said he stumbled when part of a wooden step leading to the cages broke off. Furcal fell face forward and braced himself with his hands. His right thumb became badly twisted, resulting in severe swelling and pain. The Cardinals considered the situation serious enough that Furcal received X-rays. Though X-rays were negative, La Russa could not predict when Furcal would rejoin the lineup.