Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter threw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since spring training and hopes he experienced a little January in June.

Carpenter, who has been out all season after nerve irritation caused weakness in his right shoulder, threw 26 fastballs at slightly less than full effort in a brief bullpen session at Busch Stadium. The workout was the next step in what Carpenter and the Cardinals are describing as a spring training-like schedule for the righty. The session was similar to one he would do within two weeks of reporting to spring training.

"It was a nice move in the right direction," Carpenter said. "We're treating it like a lead-up to spring training here. ... Any time you move forward that's an exciting thing. But you also want to hold back a little bit because you don't want to get too carried away."