Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter plays catch, says he feels stronger

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 12:02 p.m. CDT

JUPITER, Fla. — St. Louis pitcher Chris Carpenter played catch with teammate Jake Westbrook on Wednesday morning, a step the Cardinals ace hopes gets him closer to being prepared for the season.

Carpenter has been dealing with a bulging neck disk and has yet to appear in a game this spring for the World Series champions.

Carpenter says he does not know what the next step in his recovery will be. He says he's aiming to "continue to go in the right direction" and that he's been able to stay in shape by running and weightlifting. His workouts have been tempered because of the neck issue, but his full range of motion has returned in recent days.

Carpenter went 4-0 in last year's playoffs, winning Game 7 of the World Series against Texas.

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