Carpenter scratched from next start with hamstring issue

ORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter has been scratched from his next scheduled start with a balky left hamstring.

Carpenter tweaked his leg during a spring start last Tuesday and felt it again during a throwing session Sunday, forcing the Cardinals to delay his next outing.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa is preaching patience when it comes to Carpenter, and he said he isn’t concerned about the right-hander in the long term.

“As long as he’s able to do all his exercises, we’re OK,” La Russa said. “We’ve just got to get him 100 percent-plus, in my opinion. I’d send him out there opening day if his arm was sound and his leg was sound with zero innings. He’s got a wealth of experience and competitive fire in his gut. But the whole key is get him healthy and we’ll go from there, whenever that is.”

Health has been a problem this spring for St. Louis, which already lost starter Adam Wainwright (right elbow) for the year and will be without utilityman Nick Punto (sports hernia) at the start of the season.

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