Cards optimistic about Adams' return schedule

Cards optimistic about Adams' return schedule

ST. LOUIS -- Two months removed from sending Matt Adams to undergo surgery to repair a torn right quadriceps muscle, the Cardinals are bullish that the first baseman's recovery timetable won't be as long as initially expected.

Once the severity of Adams' injury was determined during May 29 surgery, the Cardinals announced that he would likely need four months to recover. That timetable jeopardized at least the rest of the regular season for Adams, who was the team's starting first baseman and usual cleanup hitter at the time he went down.

But Adams has recently become more active, dressing for batting practice and joining his teammates for some light baseball activities. On Tuesday, he did some light throwing and catching.

"It seems like he's getting a little more flexibility in what he's allowed to do, and that's always real positive for us to see," manager Mike Matheny said as he observed Adams' pregame work. "Every one of our guys, whenever they get into that process, you just want to see them take steps forward, and he's been taking some a lot faster than what I thought he would."

Even a slightly sped-up recovery could be enough to have Adams back on the field before the end of the regular season.

"I think so," Matheny said of that possibility. "I'm not hearing anything contrary at this point, where initially we were. It sounds like he's doing a great job of really busting it, to really try and push it as best he can, and his body is responding really well."

Worth noting

• After missing two games due to tightness in his right groin, outfielder Randal Grichuk returned to the Cardinals' lineup on Wednesday. Grichuk had been dealing with the issue for a few weeks before it became unplayable midgame on Sunday.

"Hopefully we have it under control and we can keep getting treatment and go from there," Grichuk said. "The pain is going down, and it looks like it should be good to go."

• Right-hander Jordan Walden (right biceps inflammation) made his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday and threw 15 pitches (nine strikes) over two-thirds of an inning. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one. Walden has been on the disabled list since April 30, but could return to the Cardinals before the end of this homestand.

• Matheny said the team had no immediate plans to change Michael Wacha's schedule even though Wacha has been knocked around for 13 runs over his last three starts. That means Wacha will take the mound next on Friday, against the visiting Rockies.

• Asked how Jaime Garcia was feeling physically after his first start in more than a month, Matheny said: "Pretty good. We're still getting that information."

• Beginning at 10 a.m. CT on Thursday, the Cardinals will sell a limited number of $6 tickets to their upcoming three-game series against the Pirates from Aug. 11-13. Tickets are limited to eight per person and can be purchased at cardinals.com/six.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.