Cardinals Vs. Cubs Game Preview: Chris Carpenter Makes His Triumphant Return

September 4, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter (29) throws a bullpen session to hitters before the game against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO. Carpenter had surgery in July to repair a nerve issue in his shoulder. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Carpenter returns to the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals Friday against Chicago.

After undergoing season-ending surgery in July, Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter makes an improbable return to the mound Friday afternoon as the St. Louis Cardinals start a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. Carpenter developed numbness and weakness in his throwing arm and neck during spring training, and took the spring off to recover. When the rest did not resolve the issue, Carpenter underwent surgery, and Cardinal fans were told he was done for the season. He now returns as St. Louis enters the final stretch of a playoff run, entering play Friday with a 2.5-game lead over Milwaukee in the wild card race.

Chicago will hand the ball to Chris Volstad, who has struggled through 18 starts with the Cubs in 2012, going 3-10 with a 6.26 ERA. Volstad started two games against St. Louis in April, losing both starts while allowing 8 runs in 12 innings pitched.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 ET. The local television broadcast is available on Fox Sports Midwest, with radio coverage on KMOX 1120 AM.

Additional coverage on the Cardinals can be found at Viva El Birdos. For more on the Cubs, be sure to visit Bleed Cubbie Blue. Baseball Nation is the place to go for news and analysis from around the league.

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