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Chris Carpenter ready to start rehab assignment

Chris Carpenter's comeback attempt seems to be gathering momentum.

The Cardinals have announced that the 2005 National League Cy Young Award winner will make his first rehab start Monday with Class AA Springfield. That's a big deal because rehab assignments can last a maximum of 30 days. So barring a derailing setback, Carp will have to be added to the active roster by Aug. 11.

A return by that date would give Carpenter, once thought to be lost for the 2013 season, the opportunity to make about eight starts before the end of the season.

Because of the halting nature of his recovery and the length of time since radical surgery designed to relieve pressure on nerves to his pitching shoulder without success, I had become pessimistic that we would see Carpenter pitch in the big leagues again. But Manager Mike Matheny told the News-Democrat Wednesday that he's impressed with what he sees.

"I thought he was good. Very good," Matheny said of Carpenter's throwing session against live hitters Wednesday. "I think he felt good also. We're excited now to take the next step. He proved everything we needed him to prove. He's right on track to get out to Springfield and make a start."

Shane Robinson said Carpenter threw with more velocity and command than he had previously.

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