Chris Carpenter could begin throwing program in mid-June

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Cardinals GM John Mozeliak provided an update on the status of Chris Carpenter on Saturday. B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest has the goods:

“If I had to guess, sometime in mid-June hopefully we’ll be ready to start thinking about a throwing program,” said the general manager. “His strength is getting stronger and that’s measurable, so that’s something everybody is looking at as a positive.”

Carpenter will need at least five weeks from the time he begins throwing, so the best case scenario has him joining the Cardinals’ starting rotation in late July. But that’s assuming he can avoid further setbacks.

The 37-year-old right-hander has been sidelined since late in spring training with nerve irritation in his neck and throwing shoulder. He registered a 3.45 ERA across a major league-high 237 1/3 innings last year before going 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA in six postseason starts (three of which were during the World Series).

Carp’s fill-in, Lance Lynn, has opened 2012 with a 6-0 record and 1.40 ERA through his first six starts.