JUPITER, Fla. • Lefthander Jaime Garcia has returned to Cardinals camp but is not ready yet to pitch yet after receiving a cortisone injection in his troublesome left shoulder earlier in the week.
Garcia, who was operated on last May for labrum and rotator cuff issues, was told not to throw for 10 to 15 days after the shot administered by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., to enable what has been described as an inflamed bursa sac to heal.
"I feel fine," said Garcia. "The first day was a little sore after the shot."
Garcia, asked he if he had feared he would need any more surgery, said, "Yeah, I guess. That's the reason you get MRIs, right?
"Something definitely changed. It wasn't getting any better. Now they want to clear that out."
Garcia, 39-25 in his Cardinals career and 5-2 last year, said he felt "a little something" before spring training after having a mostly pain-free off-season and end of last season.
"I come in here and it was fine. Normal soreness. Then it got to the point where I had to get it checked out," he said. "It wasn't one bullpen (session). It wouldn't calm down and I had to do something about it."
Garcia, in the midst of a four-year deal that will pay him $7.75 million this year and $9.25 million next year, said he still was optimistic about his recovery and that he would be pitching this year.
"My level of optimism is great. That level always has been good," he said.
"Now that I've got good news that nothing is going on. . . my (plan) is to do everything that is in my control today and to be ready to go as quick as possible.
"I'll be pitching as soon as I'm good. I'm not shutting down for a long time. I don't feel like I'm going to lose a lot. I've had a great off-season so. . . I'm not starting from the bottom. I'm only taking a few weeks off. I'm not taking three or four months off."