Chris Carpenter was back in the Cardinals' clubhouse before Tuesday's game. There may come a point where he'll be back and better than he's been in a while. But he is not there yet

Five days removed from fairly extensive surgery, where his first rib and two neck muscles connected to that rib were removed and nerves were freed up, Carpenter admitted he was surprised to still be in so much pain and have so much swelling after the procedure performed in Dallas by Dr. Greg Pearl.

"It's been sore the last few days," said Carpenter, who won't pitch again until next season at age 38.

Carpenter had been dealing with the nerve issue which weakened his shoulder and caused either numbing or tingling in the fingers ever since spring training. He had made progress once during the spring and again during the season but then the shoulder would weaken and surgery became really the only option.

With another year to go on his two-year, $21 million contract, Carpenter is set on pitching again although he acknowledged, "There's always doubt, with everything I've been through."