Carpenter's shoulder won't require surgery

Carpenter's shoulder won't require surgery

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Carpenter confirmed on Sunday that he will not require offseason surgery to heal his ailing right shoulder.

Carpenter sat out the Cardinals' final three games and underwent a follow-up MRI to the one he had a month ago. The exam showed the same thing now that the doctors knew then, which is that Carpenter is dealing with inflammation and not a structural issue.

"Great news, for sure," Carpenter said after the Cardinals' 6-1 loss to the Brewers in Sunday's season finale. "By the time we get done with the rehab and physical therapy and just rest and recovery from the offseason, this should be something where not only will I not feel it next year, but I may never have to feel it again."

That is a relief for the infielder, who played through discomfort for most of the season. The pain became debilitating over the final few weeks and prompted the initial scan Carpenter underwent during the first week of September. He also received a cortisone shot at the time.

Carpenter will return to his home in Texas for the offseason and is scheduled to begin work with a physical therapist next week. He won't resume hitting or throwing until late December, at the earliest.

"Basically, I have to become more flexible in that right shoulder and stretch and develop some muscle in areas where I have some weakness," Carpenter explained. "They've put a plan together and have me all set up to where there will be somebody working with me this offseason."

Carpenter finished the year leading the club in extra-base hits (56) and doubles (31) despite playing through pain. He walked 109 times, second-most in the National League, and slashed .241/.384/.451 in 145 games.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.