Garcia nearing start of his rehab program

Garcia nearing start of his rehab program

ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia, who underwent surgery on his left shoulder last Friday, will begin his rehab program soon. And although he won't set a target date for his return, the Cardinals left-hander is optimistic that he'll make a successful recovery.

Garcia pitched in nine games this season before pain from a tear in his labrum and rotator cuff -- which first began bothering him a year ago -- pushed him toward season-ending surgery to repair it.

"It was one of those things, where I was willing to have a little pain here and there and just not be 100 percent normal, but willing to pitch with that," Garcia said. "And I knew that was going to be the case until I got to a point where I couldn't do it anymore."

In addition to the pain, Garcia's velocity had gone down over the last year-and-a-half, with his fastball falling from about 91-94 mph to 85 at times this season.

"What's the worst thing that can happen when I come back from surgery? That I don't throw 93-94 [mph] again?" Garcia said. "I'm used to pitching with that. That it's going to be sore? It's been sore for the last two years. I don't want to get ahead and talk [about the] future, but it's something that I've been dealing with. It's not like I'm 37 years old and toward the end of my career. I'm in the beginning and I know that it's going to get better."

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.