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Carpenter's comeback set back by his back

The latest wrinkle in the effort of Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter to return to active duty in the major leagues is a balky back.

The 2005 Cy Young Award winner, who had to scale back his throwing after a recurrence earlier this month of numbness in his pitching shoulder that cost him almost all of the 2012 season, now can't pitch because of pain in his back that may be a bulging disc.

Carpenter hasn't been talking to the media much about his comeback efforts. But, supposedly, he had progressed to the point of pitching to live hitters before this latest setback.

General manager John Mozeliak said, after several setbacks for the former St. Louis ace, he's proceeding with plans for the rest of the season that assume Carpenter won't be able to contribute. As much as I would like to see Carpenter back on the hill in top form, I can't say that I blame Mo for that assessment.