Originally believed to have suffered a potentially career-ending injury, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter will begin a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield on Monday, reports Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Carpenter has missed all of 2013 with a nerve issue in his right shoulder. The 38-year-old was not expected to pitch at all this season and said in March that he wasn't sure he would ever pitch again.
Carpenter was able to throw as early as May, however, and has since been working on a return to the Cardinals pitching staff. He is expected to join the team's bullpen to reduce stress on his shoulder.
The right hander also missed most of the 2012 season. He was able to make three starts in September, then three starts in the playoffs. Though he managed to limit the number of runs he allowed, Carpenter's velocity was noticeably down and he struggled in the postseason.
Assuming no setbacks, Carpenter will likely use most of the maximum of 30 days for a rehab stint before he is activated by the Cardinals.
Since joining the Cardinals in 2004, Carpenter has a 3.07 ERA and 1.125 WHIP over 198 games, one of which was a relief appearance. He has also missed nearly all of four separate seasons due to injury. Carpenter won the Cy Young award in 2005 and was in the top three of voting for the award in 2006 and 2009.