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Kelly set to return to rotation after All-Star break

Kelly set to return to rotation after All-Star break

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Kelly will make two more Minor League rehab starts, manager Mike Matheny said on Thursday, which means the Cardinals do not plan on having him back in their rotation until after the All-Star break.

The need to have Kelly (left hamstring strain) pitch twice more before coming off the disabled list is related to pitch count, as the Cardinals want the right-hander built up to carry a starter's load upon his return. Kelly threw 41 pitches in his first rehab start and 49 in his most recent one on Tuesday. Matheny said Kelly is expected to throw about 70 pitches in his next outing (Sunday with Triple-A Memphis) and around 85 in his final one.

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With this timetable, St. Louis will need two more starts from Marco Gonzales (or another fifth starter) leading up to the All-Star break.

Here is a rundown of progress being made by other injured Cardinals players:

Kevin Siegrist (left forearm strain): Siegrist is expected to throw a low-intensity mound session on Friday after noting improved progress with his shoulder during his last two times throwing on flat ground.

Kolten Wong (left shoulder contusion): Wong is expected to come off the DL on Sunday, his first date of eligibility. After playing two straight days in his rehab assignment with Memphis, Wong will sit on Thursday. He'll return to the field on Friday and Saturday to wrap up his rehab stint.

Jaime Garcia (left shoulder inflammation): Matheny said that Garcia is in the process of getting additional opinions from shoulder specialists to determine his next course of action.

Michael Wacha (right shoulder stress reaction): Wacha continues to rest his throwing arm.

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.

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