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Motte nearing return after rehab appearance

ST. LOUIS -- In this occasion, Jason Motte does not want to go back home.

Motte, who is from Memphis, had a two-inning rehab appearance last week with Triple-A Memphis. He allowed one hit and no runs, striking out two.

He is back in St. Louis and hopes to be activated in time for Tuesday's game with Arizona. Motte missed the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

"I threw some bullpen today and made sure everything is where we want it to be," Motte said before Sunday's game against Atlanta. ""Hopefully I will be ready to go Tuesday. It's been 13 or 14 months, and it is nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I anticipate everything to go well."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is eager to have another weapon to use out of his bullpen.

"He's worked hard and the training staff put together a good plan," Matheny said. "We coached him hard and he pushed hard. That's the only way you come back from something like that. There's no guarantees you'll come back. Everything we're seeing is pointing in a real positive direction."

Matheny was not sure how he would use the former closer when he is activated.

"If there's a need and if he's the right guy for the right situation, we will use him," Matheny said. "I assume in a perfect world we'd find situations to get him comfortable on the mound and comfortable with the atmosphere. Seldom does it work out perfectly. We are not afraid to throw him in a high leverage situation. We're not talking about a guy who hasn't been there before, we're talking about a guy who's closed out a World Series."

Motte is just ready to be back on a big league mound.

"I'm not sure how I will be used," he said. "That's up to Mike and [pitching coach Derek Lilliquist]. I'm here to help the team win and be in situations where I have an impact on the game. It's proving I can do it and putting up zeros."

Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for Bill Hester is a contributor to
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