ST. LOUIS -- Chris Carpenter passed a final test with a short bullpen session Sunday and the Cardinals' ace is due to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday against the Cubs.
Carpenter, on the DL since April 15 with a strained left rib cage muscle, had been set to throw another side session on Tuesday before returning to the rotation next weekend. A rainout Friday led to rethinking that plan.
"Two days, three days is not that big of a deal," Carpenter said. "I feel good and I'm looking forward to going out there."
The Brewers are holding back Yovani Gallardo, who retired only three of the eight batters he faced Friday, until Wednesday. Braden Looper, who played the three previous seasons with St. Louis, will start Monday in the finale of the three-game series.
Gallardo missed virtually all of last season due to injury and has pitched 46 2/3 innings, second-most on the staff this season.
"I just felt he's had quite a few innings already," manager Ken Macha said. "You can look at it and say 'Short term, what are they doing?'
"But I think in the long run it'll work out."
Carpenter said he put enough effort into a strenuous bullpen session Friday, throwing four simulated innings, to realize he's ready. Less than a week after being hurt, he said he resumed doing arm exercises.
"I'm going to go out and do the best I can for as many pitches as they give me," Carpenter said. "And when it's over, it's over."
Carpenter was injured while hitting, and La Russa said he encouraged him to take shorter, compact swings. Carpenter said he took 50 swings Saturday and 50 more Sunday.
"I can tell you one thing: I'm not going to go up there and be an automatic out, because that's not fair to my club," Carpenter said. "It's not fair to let the other side know that I'm not going to be swinging the bat. I'm going to be ready to go up and put a swing on the ball and try to do something."