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Carpenter undergoes elbow surgery

Carpenter undergoes elbow surgery

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ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter underwent elbow surgery on Tuesday, receiving the same ulnar nerve transposition procedure that slugger Albert Pujols had last month. George Paletta, the Cardinals' head team physician, performed the operation, just as he did on Pujols in October.

According to a release from the Cardinals, the condition that led to surgery is in no way related to the ongoing nerve issue Carpenter is battling. Nor, according to the club, should the surgery affect Carpenter's rehabilitation from the other nerve condition.

"It's not a surprise," general manager John Mozeliak said on Tuesday from the General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, Calif. "It's something that we had considered last summer back in June and July. Ultimately, it's a very simple procedure, and he should see relief right away and it shouldn't affect his shoulder at all.

"I think when we get to the end of November we should have a better idea of where he is. But clearly when you have any kind of invasive surgery, it's always something that you have to be concerned about."

Nerve transposition is a relatively common procedure that relieves discomfort in the elbow and arm. It frequently is performed either in conjunction with or following Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, which Carpenter underwent in July 2007.

Carpenter has been slowed by injuries since the start of the 2007 season. Following three outstanding seasons, from 2004-06, he was limited to one appearance in '07 due to an elbow injury. He returned from the Tommy John surgery to make four appearances in '08, but he was shut down at the end of the year because of the shoulder problem.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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