Chris Carpenter returning from injury to start for Cardinals on Friday

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Chris Carpenter will make his season debut Friday. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter says he is doubtful that he will pitch again. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter will return from injury to make his season debut on Friday, according to the Cardinals' official website. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said after the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday that Carpenter will start this week.

Carpenter, who has been the Cardinals ace, has been out all season after undergoing surgery in July to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, a rare condition that includes pain in the neck and shoulder. He felt discomfort in his neck and shoulder during spring training.

Carpenter was expected to be out all season, but he started in four simulated games without any incident. His addition could be significant down the stretch and, potentially, in the postseason. The Cardinals lead the race for the National League's second wild-card spot by one game.

Last season, Carpenter went 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA. He also went 2-0 during the World Series against the Texas Rangers and was the winning pitcher in Game 7.

"I'm looking forward to it," Carpenter told the Cardinals' website of his start Friday. "We've worked hard to get back and be able to do this. Like we've said all along, we weren't expecting it, but I'm excited. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and competing."