That Adam Wainwright needed Tommy John surgery came as a horrifying shock to the Cardinals, who now have to go forward with a considerably weakened starting rotation. But all they can do now is hope for the best for their roster, and hope for the best for Wainwright, and with the latter in mind, it's worth noting that Wainwright had successful surgery on Monday.
General manager John Mozeliak characterized the operation as having gone "very well," and Wainwright says that he intends to begin his long rehabilitation as soon as two weeks from Monday. Said rehab begins very small and advances at a mind-numbingly gradual pace, but there's no other alternative, and Wainwright will just have to deal with it. It helps that he can get advice and recommendations from so many teammates who have undergone the same procedure.
For what it's worth, Wainwright vows that he'll be back by next spring. He says:
Early estimates had Wainwright being out some 12 to 15 months, but the righthander said, "Everything I've heard is that I'll be back full-steam, full-bore, ready to go, by this time next year in spring training."
That may be optimistic, but this is a fairly routine procedure at this point with an ever-diminishing period of recovery, so it isn't impossible. Tommy John surgery ruins one season. It doesn't necessarily have to ruin two.