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07/15/10 8:26 PM ET

Cardinals cautious with Ludwick's calf injury

ST. LOUIS -- With the Cardinals facing off against the Dodgers and Phillies for eight straight games, it appears likely several of the Redbirds' top first-half contributors will miss both series.

General manager John Mozeliak said Ryan Ludwick is "probably" 10 days away from recovering from a strained left calf and David Freese is still two weeks away from seeing game action. Ludwick aggravated the injury June 25 against the Royals, and the Cardinals are being cautious with Ludwick returning too soon.

"We will put him through a rigorous test, and if he passes that ... when we used him in Kansas City, we just don't want that to happen again," Mozeliak said.

After right-handed pitcher Brad Penny suffered a setback in his rehabilitation before the All-Star break, Mozeliak said the timetable for his recovery is once again unclear. Although Mozeliak said he expects Penny will pitch again this season, the general manager makes no promises Cardinals fans will see Penny again in 2010.

"I would say that he will pitch again this season, but eight weeks wrong today, it doesn't serve me well to try and guess again," Mozeliak said.

Mozeliak also said pitcher Kyle Lohse is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session Saturday since being sidelined with exertional compartment syndrome in his pitching arm in May.

Shoulder lands Cards' Stavinoha on DL

ST. LOUIS -- Although most Cardinals players took the All-Star break as a few days to rest nagging injuries, outfielder Nick Stavinoha found his strained right shoulder too much to overcome with just a few days of relaxation.

The Redbirds' leading pinch-hitter was placed on the disabled list Thursday -- retroactive to July 12 -- and St. Louis recalled outfielder Allen Craig from Triple-A Memphis.

Stavinoha strained the shoulder on a diving play in Houston on Sunday.

Craig spent the first eight games of the season on the Cardinals' roster and went 0-for-19 before being optioned to Memphis. Craig was batting .308 with a .370 on-base percentage and .520 slugging in 67 games with Memphis. He has driven in 65 runs to go with 11 home runs.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa wasted no time in reacquainting Craig with Major League pitching, starting the rookie in the five-hole against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw.

"I am not sure I am doing him a favor, it is a very tough assignment," La Russa said.

Right-handed pitcher Adam Ottavino will undergo surgery on his throwing shoulder, the Cardinals announced Thursday. Ottavino has been on the DL with shoulder soreness since July 4.

General manager John Mozeliak said there has been no date set for a possible return.

Worth noting

Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter is 5-0 in seven career starts against the Dodgers and has posted a 1.88 ERA, his second best against any team with more then five starts. ... Courtesy of Cardinals public relations, St. Louis has gone 10-1 in home games following the All-Star break since Busch Stadium III opened. ... Matt Holliday has swatted five home runs in his last six games, and 18 of his 168 career home runs have come off the Dodgers, the most against any team in his career.

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