Adam Wainwright's absence from the field was short-lived.
The Cardinals on Thursday activated the ace right-hander from the 10-day disabled list to start the team's home opener later in the day against the Diamondbacks.
Wainwright had been sidelined by a strained left hamstring, though he was seen running and catching fly balls with the team this week in Milwaukee.
The 36-year-old veteran said the opportunity to start Thursday "means a lot" to him.
"I had already, in my mind, gotten myself ready to pitch tomorrow or whenever," Wainwright said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I’m taking the same approach with every game this year. Every game is going to be like it’s the last game I ever pitch."
Wainwright was shaky last year at 12-5 with a 5.11 ERA in 24 games before suffering an elbow injury that cut his season short. He looked strong this spring, allowing just two runs and two walks while striking out 10 batters in 10 2/3 innings of Grapefruit League play.