Chris Carpenter will return to the mound later this week for the first time since mid-March, barring a setback in a strength-and-conditioning program to support a right shoulder affected by a nerve disorder.

Carpenter said Sunday the Cardinals' training staff has yet to provide a specific day for his first bullpen throw but that he expects it to occur during the team's current homestand. The staff co-ace described his progress as "100 percent positive" since he resumed throwing off flat ground last month. Carpenter has been throwing every day, including weekends, whether the team has been at home or on the road.

"Where I'm at right now compares to where I'm at when I start preparing myself to go to spring training," said Carpenter, who typically conditions himself during the winter before initiating a throwing program after Christmas. "I've been doing everything: strengthening my upper body, running, everything. I feel great."