April 27, 2013
Jason Motte hurt his elbow in March and it remains unclear whether or not he'll play this season.
Jeff Roberson/AP

Cardinals closer Jason Motte has thrown for the first time in five weeks, a step toward determining if he will need season-ending surgery on his right elbow.

The Cardinals set a May 1 deadline to decide whether he will require elbow-reconstruction surgery after an MRI in early April revealed a low-grade tear in a ligament. Motte said his 35-40 light tosses before the game against Pittsburgh on Saturday from about 45 feet won't provide the final determination.

Motte said he felt great, but it's more important how he feels Sunday.

Motte signed a two-year, $12 million contract during the offseason after earning 42 saves for St. Louis last year. He took over the roll late in 2011 and helped solidify a bullpen that struggled throughout the season before winning the World Series championship.

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