It's been a slow start to the season for the St. Louis Cardinals as they're currently in last place in the National League Central. And from the sounds of it, the club is facing an uphill battle due to injuries. However, the franchise could be getting healthier sooner, rather than later.

Two players hit the team's injury report as Dylan Carlson (sprained left AC joint) and Keynan Middleton (right forearm strain) are still unavailable, according to However, both players are expected to return sometime in May.

Carlson first hurt his shoulder on March 25 but seems to be progressing through his injury nicely. His latest update sounds rather optimistic, which is great news for the Cardinals.

“Carlson, who sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder on March 25, resumed swinging for the first time in three weeks, hitting off the tee on April 15 with the goal of progressing to soft toss later in the week. After receiving a pain-killing injection in late March, Carlson worked to strengthen his shoulder before he could start swinging. Once he's progressed enough, he will start throwing a baseball again and taking batting practice off a pitching machine, manager Oliver Marmol said.”

As for Middleton, the Cardinals' big free agent pick up sounds like he'll be nearing a return to the bullpen relatively soon. Reports indicate he should be starting a Minor league rehab assignment in the coming days.

“Middleton, a free-agent signee expected to be a key cog in the bullpen this season, is progressing through his throwing program and could be close to starting a Minor League rehab session, Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. For the past week, Middleton has been throwing for two days, resting for a day and then throwing for two more days. Friday was a day off for the right-handed reliever, but he is expected to work Saturday and Sunday by throwing from 110 feet. The Cards are hopeful that Middleton will progress to throwing off a mound in the coming days.”

This is all good news for the Cardinals as it sounds like two key players are making solid progress. Considering both Dylan Carlson and Keynan Middleton are due back from injury by early May, St. Louis should have them back within the next three weeks.

Can the Cardinals bounce back this season?

Oliver Marmol
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Although St. Louis is in last place of the NL Central, they're not too far behind the first placed Milwaukee Brewers. It's only a four game difference between those two teams so the Cardinals are still very much in the mix. Additionally, time is on their side right now as the 2024 season is barely a month through.

We should expect the Cardinals to pick things up as the roster becomes more healthy. Dylan Carlson had a solid spring training and was looking great early on in the regular season. He'll be a big boost for the offense and outfield, as St. Louis plans on him being the everyday starter at center field.

On top of that, Keynan Middleton is expected to be a huge asset coming out of the bullpen. He can serve as a consistent reliever which would provide a nice boost for the rotation. Either way, the Cardinals are in a good spot despite the slow start to the season. Look for them to potentially get hot in the coming weeks as multiple players should finally come back from injury.