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Chris Carpenter "out indefinitely"

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer
<player idref=It appears as though the Cardinals are going to be without Chris Carpenter for a while. Carpenter, who's been sidelined this spring with a bulging disk in his neck, recently returned to St. Louis to be checked out by a nerve specialist. According to the team's official press release, Carpenter has been diagnosed with "nerve irritation that has led to weakness in his right shoulder."

The team also notes that "there has been no new nerve injury and the cervical disc injury which happened earlier in spring training is a non-issue." Carpenter is expected to return to camp on Monday.

As for a timetable for Carpenter's return, there's not one. MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch tweets that he's "out indefinitely," and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that Carpenter must first recover and then re-strengthen his shoulder. In other words, it's going to be some time.

All of this means the Cardinals will open the season with a rotation of Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia, Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn, and Jake Westbrook -- in that order, for the time being.

If it makes Cardinal fans feel any better, then know that Lynn is thriving in his new role this spring, and Wainwright has yet to give up a run in Grapefruit League play. Still, being without a stalwart like Carpenter in Wainwright's rebound season after undergoing Tommy John surgery strikes a serious blow.
 
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