Dave Duncan

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The man who's been at the right hand of Tony LaRussa for most of LaRussa's managing career is taking an extended leave of absence from the St. Louis Cardinals.

The team announced today that pitching coach Dave Duncan's wife underwent major surgery on August 21 and will require additional tests and rehabilitation. Duncan asked to stay with his wife during that period. No date's been set for his return.

Here's the rest of the statement from the St. Louis Cardinals: