The likelihood of Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday returning to a starting role during the NL division series vs. Philadelphia appears to be diminishing rather than progressing as the club hoped when it placed him on the playoff roster.

Manager Tony La Russa left Holliday out of the starting line for the second time in as many days Sunday, and the Silver Slugger outfielder will be examined further today upon the team's return to St. Louis.

La Russa said he left Sunday's lineup card incomplete until speaking to Holliday and the team's trainers Sunday afternoon. Those conversations reinforced the notion that Holliday's nagging issues with tendon at the base of his right middle finger are worsening.

Holliday did not take batting practice either on the field or indoors before Sunday's game. He apparently intended to 'save it" for a potential pinch-hit appearance, a role that might be jeopardized by pain experienced by a full round of pregame hitting.