ST. LOUIS (AP) Jaime Garcia has been pushed back again and won't start Thursday for the St. Louis Cardinals because of what the pitcher calls a mild left groin strain.
The left-hander and the team are confident he won't be placed on the 15-day disabled list. Garcia could start early next week in Chicago against the Cubs.
Garcia anticipates throwing a side session in the next two or three days to test the rehab.
''I don't want to go on the DL ever again in my career,'' Garcia said before Wednesday's game against the White Sox. ''I want to be out there every single start.''
Manager Mike Matheny said the replacement for the opener of a four-game series with the Padres will be a minor league call-up. A position player likely will be demoted to Triple-A Memphis.
Garcia was injured rounding third base scoring a run in the eighth inning of his last start on June 24 in Miami. The team had previously referred to the injury as a groin cramp.
''It was actually as I was turning and I was trying to get on a straight line going to home, that's when it grabbed me,'' Garcia said.
The injury is on his left side, where he pushes off during the delivery.
Garcia is 3-3 with a 1.69 ERA in seven starts coming off thoracic outlet surgery to correct a nerve issue in his shoulder that cost him most of the previous two seasons.