JUPITER, Fla. -- Jaime Garcia, who has returned to the Cardinals' spring complex after a two-day visit to Dr. James Andrews' rehabilitation facility in Birmingham, Ala., said that he hopes to resume playing catch by the end of the week and to be back on the mound before the Cardinals head north in two weeks.
It has been almost a month since Garcia halted his throwing program due to bursitis in his surgically-repaired left shoulder. He has since received a cortisone shot and assurances from two doctors that there is no new structural damage. Garcia traveled to Birmingham earlier this week to get input from physical therapists on what should be incorporated into his rehab program. They also tested Garcia's shoulder for weakness; none was found.
"It was a good trip," said Garcia, who will incorporate the suggested exercises into his rehab program and between-starts routine moving forward.
Garcia will open the season on the disabled list, but he has set a pair of personal goals as he prepares to move past this delay. Not only does he want to be pitching off a mound before the end of the month, but once he's on it, Garcia does not want to have his season interrupted by a shoulder issue again. He spent time on the DL for a shoulder injury each of the last two years.
"I want to be smart about this thing, but at the same time, I'm close to 10 months after surgery and I'm ready to get things going and be healthy," Garcia said. "Obviously, I'm going to miss some time and not break [camp] with the team. But my goal is to be ready to go for a full season once I'm healthy."
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.