Ankiel expected to start rehab assignment

Originally Published: July 29, 2004
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals said they plan to have left-hander Rick Ankiel start a 30-day rehab assignment with their Class A affiliate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Ankiel had ligament transplant surgery on his elbow last July and has been working at the team's spring training complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Manager Tony La Russa said if Ankiel continues to make progress, he may be called up to St. Louis when rosters expand in September.

Ankiel hasn't pitched for the Cardinals since May 2001, and last appeared in a minor league game in July 2003. He worked 10 relief appearances and 10 starts at Double-A Tennessee before having surgery in Los Angeles last summer.

Ankiel, 25, won 11 games as a rookie in the Cardinals' starting rotation in 2000, then struggled with his control. Since then, he has had only six major league starts.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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