Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, sidelined by a bulging disc that has affected a nerve in his neck, played catch for the first time in more than a week today and said he felt no immediate discomfort.

Carpenter was watched avidly by the press corps during a seven-minute catch with righthander Jake Westbrook. "Unbelievable," said Carpenter, smiling. "Amazing, isn't it?"

Asked if today's light throwing would lead to a more serious session tomorrow, Carpenter said, "I think it's going to depend on how I feel. But we'll see. It's up to the doctors and the trainers.

"I felt good today but that (playing catch) wasn't a whole lot. But I felt good this morning, I felt good yesterday. I'm going to continue to go in the right direction."