JUPITER, Fla. -- The Cardinals are delaying comment on the results of Jaime Garcia's exam with team physician George Paletta until after the left-hander visits orthopedist James Andrews for a second opinion on Wednesday.
Garcia, who underwent an MRI on his left shoulder in St. Louis on Monday, requested the additional consultation with Andrews before seeing Paletta. General manager John Mozeliak was briefed by Paletta about the results of Monday's exam, and while he declined to share details, Mozeliak did note that "early indications have been encouraging."
"Rather than say one thing today and change tomorrow, I'd rather get both reports and then go from there and decide after we have time to also meet with Jaime and decide what the next step is," Mozeliak said. "Based on the MRI and everything, we feel good. But I would like to see what the other doctor has to say and go from there."
Garcia has met with Andrews twice before for shoulder discomfort. In October 2012, Andrews suggested that Garcia address the issue with a rest and rehab program. The following May, Andrews recommended surgery to repair a tear to the rotator cuff and labrum.
Garcia took Andrews' advice in both instances, which led him to having a season-ending procedure last May. His rehab work went without a hitch, and Garcia reported to Spring Training encouraged by how well he felt. That relief lasted only three bullpen sessions, however, as Garcia then notified the staff of shoulder soreness and subsequently shut his throwing program down one week ago.
The Cardinals, regardless of the recommended course of action for Garcia, are moving forward with the expectation that Garcia will not be available for the season opener. What Wednesday's consultation should do, however, is help clarify how long Garcia's absence could be.
"I think right now his situation is first to determine health and then you can worry about the next step as far as what this camp means to him," Mozeliak said. "The good news is that we have options, and we certainly feel we have enough depth to handle this if we have to."
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.