ST. LOUIS -- Having tried nearly everything to get his career back on track, Mark Mulder will turn to what may be his last option: doing nothing at all.
After extensive consultations with doctors, including Dr. James Andrews, Mulder has been told that his troublesome left shoulder cannot be fixed surgically. Mulder has already undergone two operations on the joint. In his last start, July 10 in Philadelphia, he experienced pain followed by drastically reduced ability to move the shoulder into throwing position.
Given the lack of medical options, Mulder will simply step back for two weeks. He will not throw, he will not work out or receive treatment. It's about the only option remaining.
"Based on what the doctors are saying, there's nothing surgically wrong with him," general manager John Mozeliak said Saturday.
"We really felt that just taking a step back and letting him not feel like he has to go through the training room, modifying his program, stop it. Let him clear his head, let him get away from this for a little bit, and then we'll re-evaluate him the first part of August."
Mozeliak acknowledged that as the Cardinals plan for the final two-plus months of the season, they must accept the likelihood that Mulder will not be able to participate.
"Betting against him, I don't think I'm ready to do yet," Mozeliak said. "But realistically speaking, I can't plan on him contributing at this point. I think when you look at us trying to remain competitive in our division, and what we have to do, we have to operate under the assumption that it's probably not likely he'll be part of that equation."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.