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Dave Duncan's wife recovering

ST. LOUIS -- The wife of St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan is recovering from surgery to have a brain tumor removed and Duncan remains on an indefinite leave of absence.

Duncan left the team last Saturday and their son Shelley Duncan left the Cleveland Indians to be with Jeanine Duncan, who underwent surgery Sunday night. Dave Duncan said Friday in a release from the team that Jeanine's spirits are high and she has no loss of memory nor difficulty communicating.

Dave Duncan said the family is putting together a treatment and rehabilitation program with consultation from leading medical specialists in the country.

Bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist has filled in as pitching coach during Duncan's absence. Duncan is in his 32nd year, all with Tony La Russa, and the manager said there's no timetable.

La Russa allowed for a chance Duncan could return just for the games.

"I don't even think about it," La Russa said. "I just think he's going to be there and do whatever he can to help her, and if his help's not necessary on a 3-4 hour basis then he'll be here doing his job."

During his absence Duncan has been in contact, offering observations after watching games on TV.

"We can talk about what he sees, but it's not like having him here," La Russa said. "But we know what the priorities are."

The Cardinals might promote Blaise Ilsley, the pitching coach at Triple-A Memphis, after that team's season is over.

"I know we're going to get some help," La Russa said. "If we do something on the pitching side one guy that would make a lot of sense is Blaise."