Lohse cleared to make Sunday start for Cards

Lohse cleared to make Sunday start for Cards

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Kyle Lohse left the team Thursday to return to St. Louis and have the inflamed middle finger on his pitching hand examined by Dr. George Paletta. Lohse was back with the Cardinals on Friday at PNC Park.

"I had a fun day," Lohse said. "Traveling out of New York and getting to St. Louis wasn't bad, but coming back to Pittsburgh made it a long day. But I wanted to get back here with the team so I could at least get a little rest last night instead of waking up early and flying in."

Lohse was pleased with the diagnosis.

"With health issues you have some concern," Lohse stated. "But with the MRI and the report that I got, it kind of alleviates any worry that I'm going to do any further damage. Really it's just inflammation, and we're going to treat it with medication and treatment. I'm good with that and I'm good with that diagnosis. After hearing all that, I feel like I'm good to go.

"There's a lot of relief, because going in, you never know. When something like that is going on in a finger, there are so many different little tendons, and if one of those is torn, then you're dealing with a tricky injury. After they told me that the ligaments and tendons were fine and it was just inflammation and swelling in there, that's kind of what you wanted to hear."

Lohse threw in the bullpen in Pittsburgh on Friday for about 10 minutes and reported no discomfort.

"It was just shorter than a normal bullpen -- about 40 pitches and about 10 minutes," Lohse said. "Everything felt like I thought it would and everything was working, so it was good."

Lohse is 8-7 with a 3.45 ERA this season in 19 starts, but he is 0-3 with a 7.64 ERA in July. He is scheduled to start against the Pirates on Sunday.

"He's got the green light to pitch," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "The exam went well and that's good news. He will pitch Sunday."