ST. LOUIS -- Though right-handed reliever Jason Motte is not attaching a specific time frame to his recovery from a strained lower back, listening to him provide an update on his status suggests that a return before September is unlikely.
Motte, who was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 8 (retroactive to Aug. 2) when he couldn't shake stiffness in his back, said on Thursday that he continues to feel the discomfort and has therefore not resumed throwing. Until that discomfort subsides, he will remain in a holding pattern.
"It's one of those things where I'm just waiting to get back to 100 percent," said Motte, who is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday. "We don't want to go out there and try to push it and then [have a setback]. We're just kind of doing stuff to get it to where it needs to be so we can get it to where I can do more."
Before the Cardinals will activate Motte from the DL, he will have to progress through a throwing program and get in some work during a Minor League rehab assignment. That should take him through the end of August. With rosters expanding in September, the club could then activate him without having to make a corresponding roster move.
"We were hoping everything would be fine before the road trip was over," Motte said. "We're just taking it one day at a time, seeing what we can do to help it that day. As long as we're not going backward, I think it's going well. It's feeling better each day, so that's a positive."
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.