ST. LOUIS -- Mark Mulder's down time was brief.
Mulder threw off a mound on Tuesday, seven days after he was shut down due to what the Cardinals called a mild rotator cuff strain. He threw 40 pitches -- all of them sinking fastballs -- under the watch of pitching coach Dave Duncan.
"He's trying to get the same sinker that he had prior to surgery," Duncan said Tuesday. "We're trying to recover that. It's not quite there yet, but we're working on it. That's a big key for him."
Mulder underwent a second operation in September to repair rotator cuff damage in his pitching shoulder. He went on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment, making five starts at three levels before being shut down.
However, the seven-day break seems to have eased Mulder's discomfort.
"Physically, he feels good," Duncan said. "He was going after it pretty hard for a while. Take a little break, and he felt good today."
Once Mulder is ready to begin pitching in games, he gets a new 30-day clock for a Minor League rehab assignment.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.