Stiff neck casts doubt on Carpenter's return - KMOV.com

Stiff neck casts doubt on Carpenter's return

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JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 29:  Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) By Mike Ehrmann JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 29: Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 29, 2012 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) By Mike Ehrmann

Chris Carpenter said he has suffered from a stiff neck for several days, forcing him to miss a scheduled throw on Wednesday. The injury puts a huge question mark next to the right-hander's first spring training start on Monday.

Manager Mike Matheny and Cardinals' General Manager John Mozeliak said they were hesitant to release a timetable for Carpenter until medical staff could get a better idea of his condition.

"Obviously it's day-to-day, and we'll see what the weekend should bring," Mozeliak said. "But obviously our hope is that things go well and that he can get out there soon, but we have to be patient in this and understand it may take a few days before we determine exactly what the future looks like."

Matheny said he will remain cautious and flexible about Carpenter's return, as he has been throughout spring training.

"It's still fluid," he said. "We're still just kind of wait and see. It's the same story I've been giving you since we got here. You just kind of watch and see and put him in when it seems right."

The right-hander has a history of nerve-related injuries, but Mozeliak would not reflect on the cause of Carpenter's current neck issues.

"There are some reasons for optimism, and we'll take it that way, Mozeliak said. "He's had a history of this before, and as far as where it originates, I'd be speculating."

The Cardinals had already planned on limiting Carpenter in the rotation after he pitched 237 1/3 innings last season.

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