Garcia returned to Washington later in the day, but he offered few details about Altcheck's recommendations. Garcia noted that while Altcheck "answered more of my questions," he'll likely seek a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews before determining the next course of action.
A Cardinals spokesperson said that general manager John Mozeliak will address Garcia's status before Game 5 of the National League Division Series on Friday (7:30 p.m. CT, TBS) after "going through a final few things."
Following an abbreviated start on Monday, Garcia underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam of his left shoulder, which has given him problems multiple times this year. Paletta diagnosed Garcia with a rotator cuff strain and shoulder inflammation.
Garcia has been taken off the Cards' NLDS roster and is not expected back this postseason, should St. Louis advance to the World Series. The question now is whether the left-hander will try to address the issue simply with rest and rehab, or if he will undergo a corrective surgical procedure which could jeopardize part or all of the 2013 season.
Garcia sat out for 2 1/2 months this summer in the hopes of correcting the left shoulder strain merely through focused rehab. He returned to pitch nine regular-season games without issue, but felt discomfort throughout his only postseason start. Garcia lasted just two innings in the Game 2 outing.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.