ATLANTA -- Initially scheduled to stick with the team through this road trip, Joe Kelly has returned to St. Louis after not feeling the sort of improvement he had hoped when testing his strained left hamstring while throwing off the Wrigley Field bullpen mound on Friday.
With Kelly unlikely to resume throwing off a mound for at least another week, the Cardinals did not feel it necessary to have him continue on this trip through Atlanta and Pittsburgh. Instead, Kelly will resume his therapy sessions with members of the Cardinals' medical staff back home.
"It just wasn't to the point where they thought they could push him, so keeping him on the rest of this road trip didn't make any sense," general manager John Mozeliak explained. "I don't know if I would call it a setback as much as it just wasn't progressing as much as we had hoped."
With Kelly's progress slowed, the Cardinals now prepare to play without him longer than they hoped. Kelly was eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, and while that was never a target date, the Cardinals did believe Kelly's athleticism could position him to return to the field sooner than most who deal with a similar injury.
The extended absence also means that Kelly will need to participate in a Minor League rehab assignment after building his arm strength back up through side sessions.
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.