That revelation prompted the Cardinals to send Garcia back to St. Louis on Tuesday so that he could undergo a magnetic resonance imaging exam to survey whether he had suffered any structural damage. None was detected on Wednesday, leaving the Cardinals confident that Garcia will not have to miss more than just the one start.
"It is good news," manager Mike Matheny said. "Everything looked exactly like it looked the last time they took an MRI [last summer, shortly before Garcia signed a long-term extension]. It cleared out perfect. Testing was good, too."
Because of Thursday's off-day, the Cardinals are able to slide all four of their other starters up a day so as not to have to find someone to replace Garcia in the rotation. Adam Wainwright will now start Friday's series opener against the Mets. He'll be followed, in order, by Lance Lynn, Jake Westbrook and Kyle Lohse.
The Cardinals anticipate Garcia being cleared to then start the team's game on Tuesday.
Garcia last pitched on Saturday, when he allowed six hits, four earned runs and two walks in a six-inning loss to the Phillies. He did not alert anyone of any discomfort during or immediately after the outing. Having mild soreness in the days after starting is routine for pitchers. But Matheny said that Garcia expressed that this soreness "just felt different," which prompted Wednesday's examination.