Piscotty cleared for return from concussion

Cards plan to have outfielder back in action this weekend

Piscotty cleared for return from concussion

ATLANTA -- Stephen Piscotty, who was knocked out and carted off the field Monday after colliding with fellow outfielder Peter Bourjos, said he is "moving in the right direction" and is expected to be available for Saturday's game after passing a final round of concussion tests on Friday.

Piscotty did some running work and took batting practice on Friday before he was scheduled to visit with a doctor for another concussion-related exam. Manager Mike Matheny said after the Cardinals' 4-0 loss to the Braves that "everything came back clear" from that exam, which was the final test Piscotty had to take under Major League Baseball's concussion protocol.

Piscotty said he has not been bothered by headaches, and that has allowed him to avoid taking pain medications. He spent much of Thursday's off-day catching up on sleep.

Unless there is an unexpected setback, the Cardinals plan to play Piscotty during this final regular-season series.

"I know that we'd like to get him back out there because he's had a couple more days [off] than everybody else," Matheny said. "But first we have to get all our clearance. Today's a good step being on the field taking batting practice."

Worth noting

• The Cardinals will wait until closer to the National League Division Series before announcing their playoff rotation. With four days off before Game 1, the Cardinals can order their rotation however they wish.

• Gear up for the Cardinals' postseason at MLB.com Shop

Carlos Villanueva, who was on the mound for the team's final out in Wednesday's 11-1 win, has retrieved the ball he threw for his inning-ending strikeout of Starling Marte. The ball has been authenticated, and Villanueva said he will carve out a special place in his home to display it.

• Retired pitcher Jake Westbrook visited with several former teammates prior to Friday's game. Westbrook, who played parts of four seasons with the Cardinals before retiring in 2014, makes his permanent home in Georgia.

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