SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Pending team physician Stan London's approval, the St. Louis Cardinals say they hope left-hander John Tudor will be able to begin his minor league rehabilitation period this week.

Tudor, 32, pitched on the sidelines under simulated game conditions again Sunday prior to St. Louis' contest against the San Diego Padres. He was to return to St. Louis today. If given London's approval, he would pitch Wednesday night for Louisville of the American Association.

Tudor, who in 1985 had a 21-8 record and 1.93 earned-run average, sustained a broken right leg when struck by Barry Lyons as the New York Mets' rookie catcher fell into the Cardinals' dugout while chasing a pop foul on April 19.

''I see nothing, other than that wrap he wears, that would indicate that he had a broken leg,'' Manager Whitey Herzog said after watching Tudor pitch Sunday. ''There's certainly no question that his arm's all right. He's coming off the mound well.''

If Tudor gets the green light, he would throw 40-45 pitches at Louisville on Wednesday night and come back with an outing featuring 60-65 pitches next Sunday for Louisville in a game at Des Moines, Iowa.

''You always worry 'til they go out there and actually pitch,'' Herzog said in projecting Tudor's possible return to St. Louis by Aug. 1. ''But what the heck, Mordecai ''Three-Finger'' Brown only had one finger.''

Tudor has a 2-1 record and 6.06 ERA. Also on the 21-day disabled list for the Cards is right-hander Danny Cox, 8-3, who suffered a broken bone in his right foot when struck by a line drive July 9.