Westbrook begins throwing program after setback

Westbrook begins throwing program after setback

ST. LOUIS -- Three days after receiving a cortisone injection to target a buildup of scar tissue around his right elbow, Jake Westbrook was cleared to begin his throwing program.

Westbrook made about 25 throws from a distance of 60 feet on Sunday, saying afterward that "it went well" and that his elbow "feels a lot better." Westbrook, who will travel to California with the club after Sunday's game, expects to play catch again on Monday.

The Cardinals are still hopeful that Westbrook, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to May 9, will miss only three starts. John Gast started in his place on Tuesday and was closed out the series against the Brewers on Sunday. If the Cardinals don't use the upcoming off day to tweak the rotation, his spot would come up again next Saturday.

Westbrook has been addressing a series of issues since he stopped throwing after his May 8 start. He was initially diagnosed with elbow inflammation, but he has since mentioned that biceps tendinitis and the hardening of scar tissue have also been part of the culprit.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.