Mixed results for rehabbing Cardinals
ST. LOUIS -- Though none of the six Cardinals rehabbing from injury expects an imminent return, several are showing enough signs of progress to set up the team for a boost down the stretch in September.
Of those six, only Adam Wainwright (ruptured left Achilles) is unlikely to return this season. Although Wainwright is pushing for a late-season return, the Cardinals have not had a medical professional tell them such a push is feasible. When Wainwright underwent surgery for the injury in late April, he was given a recovery window of nine to 12 months.
As for the other five, general manager John Mozeliak provided the following updates:
Matt Holliday (strained right quad): There is still no estimated date of return, as the Cardinals intend to remain patient, since this is the second quad injury Holliday has dealt with this season. He has not resumed on-field baseball activities, but the Cards are optimistic he will play again this year.
Matt Adams (strained right quad): Adams recently resumed taking controlled swings in the batting cage and isn't too far away from being cleared for outdoor batting practice. He is still not running near full speed. The Cardinals are hopeful that Adams could be cleared for a rehab assignment before the Minor League season ends. That could get him back to St. Louis by mid-September, which is ahead of the initial time frame given.
Jon Jay (stress reaction in left wrist): Jay has resumed swinging off a tee and will soon progress to hitting soft-toss pitches and then taking batting practice. Nevertheless, Mozeliak indicated that Jay is "at a minimum a couple weeks away" from a potential return.
Matt Belisle (inflammation in right elbow): The righty was cleared to resume playing toss again on Tuesday but will need several weeks to build back the arm strength lost during his downtime. The Cardinals are not sure that Belisle will be ready for a rehab assignment before the end of the Minor League season. At best, he's looking at a possible mid-September return.
Jordan Walden (inflammation in right biceps): Unlike his teammates, who have had positive developments listed above, Walden has stalled in his progress. After making four rehab appearances, he halted that assignment at the start of August due to lack of strength in his right shoulder. He sought a second opinion last week and received a new rehab program to follow. Though he hopes to recover sans surgery, the possibility is not off the table.
"My arm didn't bounce back right, and I wasn't strong enough yet," Walden said of his setback. "It was really tight still. I wasn't flexible. I knew I wasn't myself. I just wanted to pitch. I wanted to play. I gave it a shot, and my arm told me, 'You can't even play catch.' I had to stop."