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Cards: Lopez back soon

Cardinals utilityman Felipe Lopez is feeling much better after being disabled because of a sore elbow, the team reports.

He's resumed hitting and, although a specific timetable hasn't been given for his return, the club says Lopez will be back "soon." He's eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday. But, apparently, it is unlikely to be THAT soon.

Lopez strained his elbow making a play in Milwaukee the second series of the season. But he aggravated it trying to pitch in the Cardinals' 20-inning game against the Mets a week later.

The Cardinals could use Lopez's bat. Second baseman skip Schumaker (.225) and shortstop Brendan Ryan (.186) are still struggling to hit. Lopez was hitting .273 with a homer, four RBIs and two stolen bases before he was disabled.

"I've been hitting a lot," Lopez reported on the Cardinals website. "It feels great and I'm tired of sitting back and watching. It seems like a long time, but it could be worse. I could be playing through the pain and then missing four months, that's the way I look at it. I'm anxious to get back out there."