On Friday, Jay reported his sprained right shoulder to be feeling "better than expected" one day after jamming it against the outfield wall during the Cardinals' 6-3 loss to the Reds.
Jay did not participate in any on-field work before Friday's series opener against the Pirates, but said he is optimistic that he will be taking swings and throwing again on Saturday. His improvement over the last 24 hours was much more substantial than anticipated.
"Today is the day after and that's usually when you're sore the most," Jay said. "I slept well [Thursday] night. I woke up feeling better. I thought it was going to be a lot more sore today."
Manager Mike Matheny, too, was bracing for a worse day-after report.
"I think [Friday that] is as good of information as you can get," Matheny said.
Jay walked around the Cardinals' clubhouse on Friday without a sling, and he was extending his arm with more ease than he did on Thursday. Jay exited Thursday's game after running hard into the center-field-wall trying to make a catch in the seventh inning. He explained afterward that he had mistimed his jump, which is what led to the awkward collision.
X-rays taken on Thursday confirmed no structural damage.
Skip Schumaker started in Jay's place on Friday and also had to leave the game after crashing into the center-field-wall at PNC Park. Erik Komatsu and Shane Robinson are also able to spot start, as needed, until Jay is cleared to return. Komatsu replaced Schumaker on Friday.