JUPITER, Fla. -- Shortly after a diagnosis in late February identified bursitis as the reason behind his left shoulder discomfort, Jaime Garcia set a goal of returning to the mound before the Cardinals finished Spring Training.
On Sunday, he successfully met it.
Garcia threw about 25 fastballs off the mound at the Cardinals' spring complex in what was his first bullpen session since Feb. 18. In between then and now, the left-hander received a cortisone shot and assurances that there is no structural damage in his shoulder.
Now that Garcia is back on the mound, he'll follow a throwing program similar to the one that he had stalled last month. There will be several more bullpen sessions and then an opportunity to face hitters during extended Spring Training. Eventually, Garcia would go out on a Minor League rehab assignment before being ready to return to St. Louis.
"I'm going to be ready to go whenever that time is," Garcia said. "I'm very, very confident I'm going to be good to go. When is that going to be? I haven't really talked to the trainers. But I'm hoping as soon as possible."
Garcia has said he has already faced the possibility of pitching with discomfort in his shoulder for the rest of his career. In order to keep it manageable, he has made some changes and additions to his workout regimen.
"It's been a little tough for me, unfortunately, since last year when Spring Training started," Garcia said. "But I'm in a good place right now. I'm coming in ready to go every day, trying to do my work, have a good mentality about this whole thing, stay positive. It was a good first bullpen."
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.