Lohse takes step toward return to Cards
Right-hander feels no pain throwing from 120 feet
ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse took another step forward in his rehabilitation from a right forearm strain on Tuesday, and a bullpen session is now at least in sight for the injured right-hander.
Two days after his first throw since the injury, Lohse played catch at a distance of 120 feet on Tuesday. He said he felt even better than in the previous throw, and that he exerted more effort on the longer throws as well. Lohse last pitched in a game on June 3, when he aggravated an existing forearm condition by diving to field a bunt.
"We've still got a ways to go," he said. "We've still got to build my arm strength back up from not throwing for 10-12 days. But it was a big step and I was really happy with how it turned out. We'll probably do this a couple more times [so they can] make sure everything is good and I come back strong tomorrow. We'll see how that turns out and hopefully get on a bullpen in the next couple days or a week or whatever."
In the meantime, Brad Thompson will retain his spot as Lohse's replacement in the St. Louis starting rotation. Thompson pitched six strong innings on Saturday in a win over the Indians.
"I think the idea is to pitch the best guy that you have," manager Tony La Russa said. "And based on his opportunities, there's nobody better than Brad. When Lohse comes back, then you're going to pick the best five. And if Brad's outpitching somebody, then somebody in the rotation will go in the bullpen. It's always the best five. Unless they're really close and one guy fits the bullpen better than the other guy."
Lohse is on the disabled list for the first time in his Major League career.
"We've still got a ways to go," he said. "I haven't thrown for a while. You can't rush this kind of stuff. You don't want to re-aggravate it. I've got to make sure my shoulder is still strong from all the time off. I'm not putting any dates on it. We're trying to take it slow and [be] cautious and make sure we don't do anything that sets us back a couple more days."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.