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Wainwright's a go; Siegrist has to wait

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Cardinals v Chicago Cubs

Adam Wainwright (front right) watches the May 15 game against the Cubs with Cardinals teammates (from left) Jaime Garcia, Jon Jay and Shelby Miller. (Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com)

Adam Wainwright is full speed ahead for the Cardinals, but Kevin Siegrist has had to back off the throttle.

Wainwright, nursing a tennis elbow condition, threw 35 to 40 pitches at his own pace Wednesday in the bullpen, where he said one usually could catch those tosses with a Kleenex.

“I felt very good. I felt no signs of anything,” said Wainwright, who pronounced himself fit for a start Saturday here against Philadelphia. “It’s official,” Wainwright said.

But lefthanded reliever Siegrist, who also was to have thrown Wednesday, now won’t test his strained left forearm until Friday. Siegrist reported that a nerve issue behind his left shoulder, something he had in spring training, had flared up again “where it just takes a while to warm up,” he said.

“The forearm and everything else is fine but that (nerve problem) fires sometimes,” said Siegrist. “I guess taking time off for my forearm kind of deconditioned my arm, I don’t know. Is that even a word?

“It compresses on the nerve, so when I release the ball, then (the pain) shoots down my arm. On some days it’s been worse than others but we want the whole feeling to go away, so we’ll see how it feels on Friday.”

Siegrist, one of the late-inning staples of the young Cardinals bullpen last postseason, hasn’t pitched since May 23. He was believed about ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment, but that has been postponed.

“When you start talking about a nerve thing ... you don’t know what kind of time frame we’re talking about,” said manager Mike Matheny. “We haven’t heard there’s any connection between the two (shoulder and forearm).”

Wainwright was forced to miss his last start Monday because of the inflammation, which had bothered him for a couple of recent starts.

“Had I made my start (Monday), it probably would have been OK,” he said. “But I wasn’t real sure and I didn’t want this to linger.

“This is something that we’ve got alleviated now so it would have been a little silly to throw 105 pitches, grinding through a tough game. I could have set myself back three or four starts.

“I’ll miss one to stay on top of things the rest of the season.”

Wainwright had tried to play down his concern over the elbow, but he said, “The feeling I had the last game (June 10 in Tampa Bay) was incredibly annoying, incredibly bothersome. And I don’t have that any more. So I’m smiling.”

Wainwright allowed that he did put a little more into his bullpen session Wednesday although he said, “I’m a bullet saver. I always have been. But I threw all my pitches.”

Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said, “His side (session) was fabulous.”

Matheny was pleased but cautious. “We’ll just have to keep watching him. If we have to take more time, we’ll take more time,” said Matheny.

EXTRA BASES

• After getting his first day off, Matt Carpenter homered and doubled Wednesday. “He was able to breathe a little,” said Matheny. “At this time of year, (a day off) can give guys more of a mental break than anything physical.” 

• Center fielder Jon Jay and right fielder Allen Craig both threw out runners at second base Wednesday. The Cardinals’ outfield had just three assists previously.

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