MIAMI -- Jim Edmonds' return to the Cardinals' active roster may be imminent. Edmonds has informed manager Tony La Russa that he feels ready to play after sitting out since June 16 due to back trouble.

"He says he's ready to go," La Russa said on Monday. "He's just got to pass the conditioning test now so that we don't feel like he's going to blow out when he really goes hard."

Edmonds had little to say regarding the situation.

"I'm ready to play," he said. "Whenever they're ready for me, I'm ready."

La Russa was vague as to when exactly Edmonds might be activated, but he would not rule out a move as soon as Tuesday. It seems likely that Edmonds will play before the end of the road trip.

Edmonds was hobbled for much of the early part of the season due to the back problems, which led to discomfort in his legs and a lack of mobility as well. La Russa anticipates seeing a more effective player upon Edmonds' return to active duty.

"I hope so," La Russa said. "The position we're in, that's what we need. So you might as well hope for it."

Carp's exam delayed: Chris Carpenter was slated to meet with Dr. George Paletta on Monday to discuss the recurrence of elbow trouble he recently sustained. However, that meeting was postponed due to travel delays. Carpenter will meet with Paletta on Tuesday, at which time the pitcher and the doctor expect to establish a course of further action in Carpenter's recovery from elbow surgery.

A crush of infielders: With Scott Spiezio's placement on the disabled list and the recall of Brendan Ryan from Triple-A Memphis, the Cardinals have four middle infielders on their active roster. La Russa said that either Aaron Miles or Ryan could play third base to give Scott Rolen a rest if need be, since Spiezio served as the primary backup at third.

As for the issue of finding playing time for all four, the manager dismissed it as a concern.

"We're past the point of trying to get guys into the season," La Russa said. "We're at the point now where you try to play the best roster that day to win the game. You don't make concessions for keeping guys from getting stale. Everybody's gotten playing time at this point. It's just, the better you play, the more you play."

Once Edmonds is activated, the Cardinals will have a decision to make regarding whom to send out. Skip Schumaker and Ryan would both be candidates to make room for Edmonds.

No complaints: Though reports have surfaced that the arresting officers in La Russa's March arrest behaved inappropriately, La Russa said Monday that he had no issues with their conduct. It has been reported in South Florida that when La Russa was arrested for driving under the influence during Spring Training, the Jupiter Police Department officers did not conduct themselves with the highest level of respect.

La Russa remains loath to talk about the incident. However, when asked about the reports, he had no ill words for the officers.

"I don't have any kind of recollection where it was unprofessional at all," he said.

This date in Cardinals history: On July 16, 1992, Omar Olivares did it all in a 5-1 win over the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. Olivares allowed one run over 7 2/3 innings for the victory, and he also hit one of his five career big league homers. Thanks to Project Retrosheet for the information.

Baby 'Birds:: Triple-A Memphis took a tough loss on Sunday, falling to Nashville, 2-1, in 10 innings. Anthony Reyes pitched a fine game but, as usual, got no help. Reyes struck out eight against two walks over six innings, allowing a run on two hits. ... Eric Haberer pitched seven strong innings Sunday before handing off to his bullpen in a 3-2 win for Double-A Springfield over Tulsa. Jason Motte and Chris Perez each struck out two in relief. ... Eddie Degerman was brilliant in Class A Palm Beach's 6-0 win over Lakeland on Sunday. Donovan Solano singled and scored two runs. ... Christian Reyes' three hits and two RBIs weren't enough for Class A Quad Cities, which lost to Peoria, 6-5, on Sunday.

Short-season Batavia was no-hit by Oneonta in a 6-0 loss on Sunday. ... Travis Mitchell went 3-for-4 in rookie-level Johnson City's 8-2 loss to Burlington. ... Edgar Lara hit his fifth home run in 71 at-bats, but the Gulf Coast League Cardinals lost to the GCL Nationals, 3-2.

Player of the day honors go to Degerman, who cruised for Palm Beach. He struck out seven, walked two and allowed two hits for his first win at high Class A. Degerman, 23, was the Cardinals' fourth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Minor matters: Brad Furnish, the Cardinals' second-round Draft pick in 2006 out of Texas Christian University, has been promoted from low Class A Quad Cities to high Class A Palm Beach. Meanwhile, Clayton Mortensen was promoted to Quad Cities from short-season Batavia. Mortensen was the Cardinals' pick in the supplemental first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Coming up: Brad Thompson makes his first start, but not his first appearance, of the second half on Tuesday night. He'll go up against Marlins rookie Rick Vanden Hurk, who recently appeared in the Futures Game, in a 6:05 p.m. CT start at Dolphin Stadium.