Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the second inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Chris Carpenter Planning September Return

Chris Carpenter will undergo surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, and he'll miss the rest of the season.

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17 Total Updates since March 10, 2012
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Chris Carpenter Considering Surgery For Shoulder Woes

Last week, it was revealed that Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter had a rare condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Still, at that time it was noted by MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch that he would try to pitch through it, but now, that’s all changed. Joe Strauss:

The Cardinals and co-ace Chris Carpenter on Monday discussed a second shutdown and the possibility of season-ending surgery due to continued nerve-related shoulder problems that again arose following the pitcher’s most recent side session.

The club scrubbed Carpenter’s scheduled bullpen session Monday and has no timetable for Carpenter’s next session, according to a club source. Carpenter visited Dallas-based specialist Dr. Gregory Pearl last Thursday to discuss his alternatives as he confronts thoracic outlet syndrome, a rare condition that compresses nerves and blood vessels in a region between the collarbone and rib cage.

With the All-Star break approaching and no timetable for anything, it would seem that surgery might be Carpenter’s best option; if done soon, he could be ready to pitch again in 2013.

For more on the Cardinals, please visit Viva El Birdos and SB Nation St. Louis.

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Chris Carpenter Has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Cardinals righthander Chris Carpenter has not pitched since the World Series. He had some trouble during spring training and was shut down, and has made tentative steps toward returning, only to have a setback each time. Now, there appears to be yet another setback:

Personally, I had no idea what this was before I saw this tweet. Off to the Google, whose first result is from the US National Library of Medicine:

Thoracic outlet syndrome is a rare condition that involves pain in the neck and shoulder, numbness and tingling of the fingers, and a weak grip. The thoracic outlet is the area between the rib cage and collar bone.

All right, now we’re getting somewhere. What’s the prognosis?

Having the first rib removed and the fibrous bands broken may relieve symptoms in certain patients. Surgery can be successful in 50% to 80% of patients. Conservative approaches using physical therapy are helpful for many patients.

None of this sounds good. I am not a doctor (obviously), but that link doesn’t seem to indicate any swift return to the pitching mound for Carpenter.

For more on the Cardinals, please visit Viva El Birdos and SB Nation St. Louis.

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Chris Carpenter Throws Off Mound

The Cardinals ace threw 26 pitches off a mound Wednesday, but don't look for him back any time soon.

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Chris Carpenter Hopes To Throw Off Mound This Week

When the Cardinals’ Chris Carpenter was first diagnosed with nerve irritation in his shoulder, he and the team both hoped he could return by May.

May has come and gone. It’s almost mid-June. He’s still not back and there’s still no timetable. But there is news! Joe Strauss:

Chris Carpenter will return to the mound later this week for the first time since mid-March, barring a setback in a strength-and-conditioning program to support a right shoulder affected by a nerve disorder.

Carpenter said Sunday the Cardinals’ training staff has yet to provide a specific day for his first bullpen throw but that he expects it to occur during the team’s current homestand.

Carpenter has been throwing off flat ground. So he’s making progress. The article quotes him as saying he’s been making “huge steps”, but there is still no specific date anticipated for his return. The Cardinals could use him, but they’ll have to be patient.

For more on the Cardinals, please visit Viva El Birdos and SB Nation St. Louis.

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Chris Carpenter's Injury A Bulging Cervical Disc, According To Report

There's good news and bad news for St. Louis Cardinals fans waiting to hear more about Chris Carpenter's mysterious neck injury. The good news is that Carpenter did not suffer nerve damage in his neck. The bad news, however, is Carpenter was diagnosed with a bulging cervical disc.

The report comes from Joe Strauss:

Carpenter has been undergoing a battery of tests while bouncing around between doctors in an effort to find what's been causing his persistent neck pain, and it appears the Cardinals have finally found an answer. Of all the things his injury could have been, a bulging disc is on the mild side. The fact that the team does not have a timetable for his return, or even when he may start throwing on the side, gives reason for worry, with a lot depending on how he heals from the bulging disc.

For more on the Cardinals, head over to Viva El Birdos and SB Nation St. Louis.

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