While dealing with his own injury, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said Sunday that shortstop Rafael Furcal has been shut down from all baseball activities because of continued pain in his right elbow. 

“He’s just not feeling good and kind of went in a bad direction,” Matheny told B.J. Rains and other reporters before Sunday’s game against the Nationals. “We don’t know the severity of it but it wasn’t good news.

“I’m not getting too far ahead in any one direction, but we know that he’s done quite a bit of rehab and to go backwards isn’t necessarily a good sign.”

Furcal has been able to swing a bat this spring, but has not been able to throw from his shortstop position as he tries to recover from a torn ligament which forced him to miss the last month of the regular season and the playoffs in 2012.

Furcal, who elected to not have surgery and tried to rehab the injury all winter, told reporters earlier this week that he hoped to play in a game this weekend, but that was before suffering a setback related to a bone spur in his elbow.

“Right now he’s just having pain standing around,” Matheny told reporters. “With the way he’s talking it sounds like the ligament may be the problem. We don’t know for sure but things are pointing in that direction. We did take a turn in the wrong direction.”

With each passing day that he is not able to play in the field, it becomes more unlikely that Furcal will be ready to play when the regular season begins April 1. Pete Kozma and Ronny Cedeno have been sharing the shortstop duties so far this spring.

General manager John Mozeliak was not with the team in Viera and was not available for comment.

Matheny, meanwhile, told reporters that he was dealing with his own injury, which has been diagnosed as a ruptured disc in his back. He missed Friday’s game both because of that injury and because he was dealing with a case of food poisoning.

“I’m glad they found out what’s going on. It was actually a ruptured disk and one of the particles is in there pushing up against a nerve so that helps explain it a little better,” Matheny said. “We’re going to try (a) shot tomorrow and hopefully that will take some of the inflammation out and get the particle off the nerve and take out some of the swelling.”

Matheny admitted that surgery was also a possibility if the epidural shot is not effective.

“It’s been bothering me for a while,” he said. “Something set it off and sent it in a bad direction. I don’t know exactly what it was.”