Chris Carpenter Likely to Start Year on DL

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 28: Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals wipes his face on the mound in the fifth inning during Game Seven of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Cardinals' ace Chris Carpenter returned to St. Louis yesterday to undergo a series of tests on his neck and shoulder, and will likely begin the season on the disabled list, reports Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.

Carpenter, who has been dealing with shoulder "weakness" for nearly a month due to a cervical disc bulge in his neck, received no definitive results from his tests yesterday and is expected to undergo further testing today.

The right-hander reportedly threw a strong and pain-free live batting practice session on Sunday but the shoulder weakness returned the following day while playing catch.

Without an answer to what is ailing Carpenter, the Cardinals cannot set a timeline for his possible return to the rotation. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told Langosch that he excepted answers in the next two days but that Carpenter's return for opening day was "highly unlikely".

As reported last week, reliever Lance Lynn will move into the rotation until Carpenter can return from injury.

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