ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter said on Tuesday that his injured left oblique muscle is getting better, but is still a long way from where it needs to be.

Carpenter spoke with reporters on Tuesday for the first time since the night he sustained the injury. He said that the St. Louis medical staff has given him a timetable of approximately 30 days for recovery, though he's uncertain what he expects to happen in 30 days. Mostly, though, what Carpenter is awaiting is for the pain in his rib cage to subside. Until that happens, he can't begin any significant baseball-related activities.

"There's no question it's better," Carpenter said. "From when it first happened, I couldn't even get out of bed. Now at least I can get out of bed and move around a little bit -- those type of things. There's no question it's gotten better. But you cannot do anything until it's totally all gone. And it's not gone."

The right-hander still feels discomfort in many routine activities.

"It was what everybody thought it was," Carpenter said. "Now it takes time to heal. From what I understand, it's the normal, everyday stuff that has to get better before you can start doing anything. That's sneezing, coughing, moving around, doing those things. It still hurts doing that, so until that stuff goes away, you can't start doing anything about it."

For the time being, Carpenter is extremely limited in what sorts of exercises he can do. He is able to ride a stationary bicycle, and he can participate in arm exercises while he's on the training table. Beyond that, though, he's not doing much but waiting.

"I'm going to continue to exercise my legs, riding the bike as much as I can," he said. "I can do anything that doesn't bother it. But obviously, throwing weights around and all that stuff, I'm not going to even attempt it because you know it's going to be sore. When I turn sideways or roll over in bed, it's sore. Sitting on the bike and pedaling the bike, it doesn't hurt, so I'm going to do that. I can also do my arm exercises."