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Injured Cards trio making progress

Injured Cards trio making progress

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals received modest doses of good news on three injured players on Monday. Joel Pineiro, Jason Isringhausen and Juan Gonzalez all inched nearer to full health, though only Isringhausen is apparently close to appearing in a game.

Pineiro threw a bullpen session on Monday morning, his first time off a mound since re-encountering irritation below his right shoulder on March 9. He will likely throw another bullpen on Wednesday or Thursday, then progress to batting practice before he appears in a game.

"He's going to take a little while," pitching coach Dave Duncan said. "He hasn't really done a lot, just pitched one time [this spring]."

Gonzalez, who hasn't played since March 10 due to an abdominal strain, took swings in a simulated game at Roger Dean Stadium on Monday morning. He did not run the bases, and is still restricted from running. However, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said on Monday afternoon that the MRI exam came back "normal" on Gonzalez.

Isringhausen, meanwhile, reported some progress in his recovery from lower back discomfort, but was still kept out of game action. Manager Tony La Russa said that Isringhausen could pitch if it were the regular season, but in Spring Training there is no reason to push the right-hander.

"I've got a tight back, so they said, 'Don't pitch,'" Isringhausen said. "It's no big deal. I can pitch. But what's the point?"

Isringhausen will probably be available on Wednesday against the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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