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Cardinals eyeing mid-September return for Michael Wacha

Cardinals eyeing mid-September return for Michael Wacha Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha, who is healing a stress reaction of his scapula and has not pitched since mid-June, says his shoulder "feels strong and feels alive" after doing some light-tossing, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Cardinals are eyeing a mid-September return for Wacha, when they hope he will be able to re-join the starting rotation. 

Wacha's condition involves a weakening of the bone and is a precursor to a stress fracture, and something that can be chronic. The pitcher said the strengthening program that he's currently undergoing is something he'll have to do for the rest of his career.

More: Cardinals get Lackey, but did Red Sox win trade?

The program aims to build strength in his legs and torso and increase flexibility and strength around his throwing shoulder. 

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak talked about Wacha's strength program and his progress:

"I feel really encouraged with where he’s at that way. So I think from a pure physical standpoint he’s probably as strong as he’s ever been. … There is a lot of optimism in that camp.”

Wacha, 23, went 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA for St. Louis last season. In 2014, he was 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 83 strikeouts before going on the disabled list. 

- Molly Geary

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