Cards await word on Westbrook's oblique strain

Cards await word on Westbrook's oblique strain

LOS ANGELES -- According to Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, starter Jake Westbrook was scheduled to visit a doctor in St. Louis on Thursday to determine how much progress the right-hander has made with his right oblique strain. The results of that exam were not immediately known.

Westbrook has not thrown a ball since wrapping up his Sept. 8 start against the Brewers. Westbrook suffered an oblique injury while throwing a fifth-inning pitch in that game.

Asked if it would be safe to assume Westbrook would not pitch during the next turn through the rotation, Matheny was noncommittal, saying, "I have no idea where he is right now. I don't know what the next step is." Westbrook remained in St. Louis while the team took off on this seven-game road trip.

Though Matheny wouldn't define a timetable, it's hard to imagine Westbrook being ready to pitch next week. Once he is cleared to resume throwing, Westbrook will have to throw at least a few times on the side before the Cardinals would be comfortable pitching him in a game.

The Cardinals have several options on how to handle the rotation next week. With Monday's off-day, the club could skip Westbrook's spot in the rotation. Lance Lynn, who had a terrific outing on Thursday, could make another spot start for Westbrook again. Chris Carpenter would be another option to slide into the spot.