Cardinals Pitcher Chris Carpenter Getting Closer to Returning

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the main pieces of the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series team is nearing a return to the team. Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, who has been dealing with neck and shoulder injuries, is stepping up his rehab and is closer to getting back on the mound.

Carpenter hasn't pitched this season yet because of his injuries. He was shutdown in mid-March to avoid further injury, but he will begin a throwing program in the near future. He recently began throwing into a net from short distance which is a good sign for his recovery. He will soon begin to throw to a glove.

'Ill be excited when I get back on the mound out there. At this point in time, I thought I was already past that," Carpenter told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "Right now, it's hard to know what to expect. I'll say its exciting to the extent that it's moving in the right direction.

Last season, the 37-year old Carpenter went 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA. He also went 4-0 in the postseason.

The team is aiming for Carpenter to return to the team sometime in late July or early August.

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