Wright named head team physician for Cardinals

The University and the St. Louis Cardinals have appointed Rick W. Wright, M.D., as the head team physician.

Wright, who has been an assistant team physician with the Cardinals since l998 and covers many of the team’s home games, replaces George A. Paletta Jr., M.D.

Rick Wright
Rick Wright

Paletta resigned from the University to pursue other interests. Wright immediately became the head team physician to ensure the medical team’s leadership remained in place as the Cardinals approach the final third of the regular season.

“As an assistant team physician since the beginning of our relationship with the Cardinals, Rick Wright is immensely qualified and perfectly positioned to oversee medical care for the players,” said Richard H. Gelberman, M.D., head of orthopaedic surgery.

“He knows the players’ health situations well and will provide a seamless transition.

“Dr. Wright is a nationally recognized sports medicine specialist and a leading researcher. Drs. Wright and Paletta have worked together with the Cardinals for seven years.

“We thank George Paletta for his efforts on the team’s behalf throughout this period and for his service to the University.”

Though not a team physician, Paletta will provide some medical services on an occasional basis to preserve continuity of care and a smooth transition.

“George and I have been working together and communicating about the players and their injuries to ensure this will be a smooth transition,” Wright said.

“The plan is for it not to affect the baseball team in any way.”

As head team physician, Wright will have primary responsibility for the players’ medical care and will coordinate services provided by other University physicians, working closely with the Cardinals’ training staff, led by Barry Weinberg, and with Gelberman.

Wright’s responsibilities also include managing care of players in the organization’s six-team minor-league system.

Wright, also a member of the medical team for the Rams and Blues, is an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and a specialist in sports medicine and minimally invasive surgery to repair joint problems involving the shoulder, elbow, knee, foot and ankle.