Adam Wainwright, the ace of the Cardinals pitching staff, is flying back to St. Louis Wednesday morning to have the ligament in his right elbow examined after he felt discomfort in the joint on Monday. Early indications are that it is a "significant injury," with general manager John Mozeliak saying that at this point, it is "not encouraging."
The team's official Twitter feed is not very optimistic either, writing, "At this time things don't look good, will have more info after he sees doctors," while ESPN's Buster Olney is already speculating that the Cardinals "are expecting [a] Tommy John situation."
Wainwright's discomfort began during a bullpen session on Monday, when he felt "something in his right elbow."
"I can say just based on the initial evaluation from our training staff, things do not look encouraging. But before jump to any conclusions we'll just wait until the re-evaluation this afternoon."
The team will provide an update Wednesday afternoon. Wainwright first suffered a tear in the same elbow ligament in 2004, and last year he missed his final start with discomfort in the joint. Mozeliak recognizes that "there is probably a connection."
Wainwright finished second in the Cy Young voting in 2010 with 20 wins and a 2.42 ERA.
Olney reports that popular thinking is that the Cardinals will pursue Kevin Millwood, the 36-year old RHP who recently turned down a minor league offer from the Yankees. Millwood was 4-16 in 2010 with the Orioles, with a 5.10 ERA.