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06/21/09 2:00 PM ET

Lohse throws in 'pen, eyes July return

Cards hurler recovering from strained right forearm

KANSAS CITY -- Injured Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse said he felt good after throwing a bullpen session before Sunday's game against the Royals.

It was Lohse's first bullpen session since going on the disabled list with a strained right forearm flexor on June 5.

"The first one after that much time off, it was a little rusty," Lohse said. "But the main first hurdle was just getting through it without feeling anything in my forearm, and we did that. So that was good."

Lohse strained his right forearm on June 3, when he threw to first after fielding a bunt by the Reds' Johnny Cueto. He originally suffered the injury on May 23, when he was hit by a pitch in a game against the Royals in St. Louis.

Lohse's trip to the disabled list is his first in a nine-year career.

Lohse was 4-4 with a 3.99 ERA in 10 starts before the injury.

"I know we got several more steps before I can come back, but for the first time on the mound, it went good," Lohse said.

Lohse expects to throw another bullpen this week in New York, as the Cardinals play a four-game series against the Mets.

The Cardinals have yet to pinpoint a date for Lohse's return, but most expect that Lohse could return sometime in the second week of July.

If all goes well during the rehab, Lohse could see a return during the Cardinals' four-game series at Wrigley Field on July 10-12.

"I don't see anything happening. It feels perfect right now," Lohse said. "It's just a matter of getting the arm strength back and getting to where I can go out there and command my pitches for a full game."

Rustin Dodd is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.