ST. LOUIS -- Compromised by a bone bruise in his right elbow for the final two months of the season, Adam Wainwright will undergo an elbow arthroscopy procedure on Tuesday to have a piece of cartilage shaved down. It's the same procedure Wainwright had following the 2014 season.The medical staff
ST. LOUIS -- Compromised by a bone bruise in his right elbow for the final two months of the season, Adam Wainwright will undergo an elbow arthroscopy procedure on Tuesday to have a piece of cartilage shaved down. It's the same procedure Wainwright had following the 2014 season.
The medical staff has advised Wainwright that he'll need six weeks of recovering before beginning the rehab process. He expects to be fully healthy by the time Spring Training starts in February and should be able to engage in a normal offseason throwing program.
"Obviously, I hate missing the postseason," Wainwright said. "Our team is so upset about missing the postseason and the way we played. But that extra month off is going to give me tons of time to get ready."
Wainwright was diagnosed with a bone bruise after undergoing a series of scans following his July 22 start. He went on the disabled list immediately after with what the club announced was mid-back tightness. Wainwright returned a few weeks later, but his velocity and the crispness of his pitches did not. After three laborious starts, Wainwright went back on the DL with a right elbow impingement.
His final appearance came last weekend in Pittsburgh, when Wainwright pitched two innings in relief. The Cardinals then shut him down for the season.
"Unfortunately, I couldn't get over that bone bruise in there," Wainwright said. "I just needed time, and I didn't have time. I took enough time off where we thought we could go back out and pitch for an extended amount of time, and you saw what happened. I was throwing better, but it was the same kind of stuff -- lower velocity, couldn't get finish on my breaking balls. It was frustrating because I really wanted to help the team, and I really wanted to be here down the stretch when we were so close. But I couldn't do it."
Wainwright finished the season 12-5 with a 5.11 ERA. Only eight of his 23 starts registered as quality.
Nevertheless, the Cardinals anticipate having Wainwright be a part of the club's rotation in 2018, the final year the veteran right-hander is under contract.
"He's going to be an effective pitcher no matter what he's got by competing," manager Mike Matheny said. "But there's going to be another level of stuff than what we saw toward the end of the year, no question."
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.