Izturis practices with Cardinals

Izturis practices with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- Cesar Izturis took batting practice on Friday for the first time since he was hit in the right arm by a pitch on Tuesday. Izturis also took infield practice, including making throws from shortstop to first base.

A date for Izturis' return to full game action remains somewhat unclear, but he is progressing well. His throws were under control, rather than really cutting loose, but Izturis said he felt no discomfort when he let the ball go.

"I was trying to get a grip on the ball, but I feel good," he said.

Izturis believes he will be available to pinch-hit right away.

In Izturis' absence, Brendan Ryan got his second straight start at shortstop on Friday night. Ryan went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored in his 2008 Major League debut on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Ryan figures to be the primary shortstop for as long as Izturis is out, though not the only one.

"Depends on how Ryan plays," manager Tony La Russa said Friday. "He plays like yesterday, he's playing today."

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