Linebrink says shoulder is 'loads better'

Linebrink says shoulder is 'loads better'

ST. LOUIS -- Not only does Scott Linebrink's injured right shoulder feel better, he can tell it's performing better as well. Linebrink, who's been on the disabled list since March 30 with capsulitis in the shoulder, said on Monday that he's been playing catch from a distance of 90 feet and is looking to increase that length soon.

"It's definitely progressing, and I'm feeling loads better than what I felt earlier," Linebrink, who had been shut down several weeks ago because of inflammation in the shoulder, said. "I'm letting it go as much as I possibly can. The ball's got good life, and I'm pain-free."

The next step for the right-hander is to throw from about 120 feet. From there he will attempt to pitch on flat ground, and he hopes to be throwing off a mound by the end of the current seven-game homestand.

Most important, Linebrink has been able to return to his normal throwing motion. When he first sustained the injury, during Spring Training, he was "pulling across" his body and thus wasn't able to find the strike zone. But he now feels ready to let loose.

"I feel totally different," he said. "I don't feel like I'm protecting it like I was, like it's drawn up toward my body. I feel like I'm really able to get out, get extended."