Elbow inflammation forces Carpenter to miss next turn

ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter will miss his next turn in the
St. Louis Cardinals' pitching rotation due to right elbow

Carpenter complained of soreness Monday, the day after he
struggled in the season opener against the New York Mets. An
examination by team physician Dr. George Paletta on Tuesday did not
include an MRI, and Carpenter said he thought his elbow already had

"I'm not a doctor, but I feel it's a little bit better,"
Carpenter said.

The Cardinals said Carpenter will be evaluated over the next
three days.

"The first indication is there's a chance it'll be something
that is not real serious," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're
going to be real careful with it."

Carpenter allowed five runs in six innings during a 6-1 loss to
the Mets on Sunday night. He has been the staff ace the last three
seasons after missing most of the 2002 season and all of 2003
following shoulder surgery.

"Obviously, anytime something's going on it's 1) frustration,
2) disappointing, and 3) I don't know if it's alarming or not,"
Carpenter said. "But I want to make sure it's OK.

"That said, everybody I've talked to, the doctors and trainers,
are not alarmed. They're trying to make sure I know everything will
be OK."

Carpenter had been slotted to pitch again Friday, jumping ahead
of Adam Wainwright and Anthony Reyes to keep him on his regular
routine despite two off days in the opening week.

Instead, Wainwright will pitch Friday in the opener of a
three-game series at Houston and Reyes will start Saturday. Kip Wells, the team's new No. 2 starter, will start the finale of that
series on Sunday. Wells had been scheduled to make his debut with
St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Carpenter was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, going
15-8 last year after winning the NL Cy Young Award with a 21-5
record in 2005. He's the lone holdover from the rotation that
opened last season for the World Series champions.

Carpenter said the elbow did not bother him during the game, and
talked afterward about improving on his debut in five days. But by
the time he got home Sunday night, swelling had begun to set in.

"I could tell there was something going on because it felt
funny," Carpenter said. "When I woke up the next morning it had
swelled up pretty good."

He noticed it most when he attempted, unsuccessfully, to adjust
his shirt because he was unable to bend his elbow enough.

"I was talking to my parents in the kitchen and I was trying to
fix my shirt and went to grab my shoulder and it wouldn't go any
farther," Carpenter said. "I was like, 'Oh, no.'"

Carpenter missed the 2004 World Series due to a biceps injury.
Last season he was on the 15-day disabled list with bursitis in his
right shoulder from May 22 to June 5.