Injury updates for 5 St. Louis Cardinals players who have been on the mend

A quick rundown of the injured Cardinals and their expected return.
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves
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RHP Keynan Middleton

Status: 15-day IL

The Cardinals signed right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton to a one-year deal this offseason to bolster the bullpen with some high-leverage innings. Middleton missed some time in spring due to family business, but he also went down with a right forearm strain in mid-March.

Middleton, 30, has played for a half dozen teams, but he finished last season with the New York Yankees. His strikeout numbers last year -- 11.4 K/9 -- were going to provide a massive boost to a 'pen that needed swing-and-miss stuff. He would slot in as a late-inning reliever or a high-leverage arm with players like Andrew Kittredge, Giovanny Gallegos, JoJo Romero, and Ryan Helsley.

As of April 23rd, Middleton was playing long-distance catch (110 feet). He has worked out two days on and one day off for a while now, but Keynan had yet to throw off a mound at that point. By the end of the week, it's possible that Middleton will begin throwing bullpen sessions. That would be promising. He will need to go to Memphis for a rehab stint, so he's aiming for a reappearance toward the middle or end of May.

Middleton's return to the bullpen will only deepen manager Oliver Marmol's options late in games. Middleton has high-leverage experience, and he can be employed when the big three of Helsley, Kittredge, and Romero are out of commission.

Middleton's right-handedness pairs nicely with the lefty stuff of fellow reliever Matthew Liberatore. Once Middleton returns, the Cardinals could boast the best bullpen in all of baseball this year.