General manager John Mozeliak said that getting Hicks stretched out prior to Opening Day will be a challenge, Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Rather than a build-up of at least six weeks, players will be limited to just under a month between reporting to spring training and the first pitch of the regular season in 2022. As a result, that could jeopardize the Cardinals' plans to use Hicks in the rotation rather than in a bullpen role. Mozeliak did note that he had to observe where Hicks stands from an arm strength and conditioning perspective, so his exact role remains unclear for now.