It looks like Sidney Ponson could be out of the Cardinals’ rotation for a couple of weeks. The right hander has a muscle strain in his pitching elbow and will miss his next start. Ponson may also be put on the 15-day DL. Ponson is 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA as the Cardinals fifth starter this season.

Reliever Ricardo Rincon’s prognosis isn’t as good. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he plans on having shoulder surgery week, which will end his 2006 season. He allowed four runs in 3.1 innings of relief before going to the DL last month.

Better news from the Cardinals comes in the form of outfielder Larry Bigbie, who returned to the team yesterday. Bigbie, who was expected to vie for the left field spot, was brought up from Class AAA Memphis yesterday. He’s spent the entire season in the minors, rehabilitating a broken foot. He hit .143 in Memphis, with seven walks and 14 strikeouts. Manager Tony La Russa said Bigbie will start one of the two remaining games against the Rockies.